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Congress fails to provide fix for Gold Star family 'widow's tax' just in time for Memorial Day
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Congress fell short ahead of Memorial Day weekend, failing to pass legislation that would provide tax relief for the families of military personnel killed during their service.
Senators unanimously approved a version of the bipartisan Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act Tuesday sending it back to the House of Representatives, where it was tied to a retirement savings bill as an amendment, and passed Thursday.
When it got back to the Senate, the larger piece of legislation failed to pass and make its way to the President Trump's desk.
CNN identified Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) as the lone member of the upper chamber of Congress who stopped a unanimous consent vote, because the larger bill did not provide for an expansion of a college savings plan to homeschooling expenses.
Had the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives not tied their version of the Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act to the larger bill, it would've passed Congress, because of its identical language to the Senate version approved Tuesday.
Congress introduced the Gold Star Family Tax Act in early May following lawmakers realizing the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act led to an increase in taxes for those families.
According to the Office of Rep. Max Rose, relatives of fallen service members receive two forms of compensation to help them cope, with spouses of the fallen often signing over one form to their children to ensure more of the benefit is received.
Due to changes in the way children's assets are taxed, families that were obligated to pay 12 to 15 percent in taxes on such income saw their tax rate jump to 37 percent, according to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.
"As we remember all of our fallen heroes this Memorial Day weekend, it's critical that we also honor all the loved ones left behind," Rose, an Army veteran, said.
"So when the ultimate sacrifice is paid, making sure Gold Star Families receive the care and benefits they deserve without egregious tax hikes and headaches isn't only commonsense, it's the right thing to do," Rose stated.
©2019 Staten Island Advance, N.Y. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on Thursday of possible Israeli involvement in attacks against Iranian-linked targets in Iraq.
A series of blasts in the past few weeks have hit weapon depots and bases belonging to paramilitary groups in Iraq, many of them backed by Israel's regional foe Iran. The groups blamed the United States and Israel for the blasts on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that will make it easier for permanently disabled veterans to have their student loan debt forgiven.
Physical fitness tests were briefly suspended earlier this week and outdoor cardio testing will be curtailed for the remainder of the summer at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, after an airman died Saturday. She had completed her PT test on Friday.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has expanded a review of the Judge Advocate General Corps to include the Marine Corps, a Navy spokesman said on Thursday.
"There is value in applying this review and its subsequent recommendations across the Department of the Navy," Cmdr. Jereal Dorsey told Task & Purpose. "The review's purpose is to confirm the uniformed legal community is structurally and organizationally sound and best supporting the good order and discipline our integrated naval force."
Marine vet Adam Driver is starring in a new film about the CIA's controversial post-9/11 interrogation program
Marine veteran, professional mumbler, temper-tantrum prone Sith Lord, and A-list actor, Adam Driver, is taking on the CIA in a new teaser trailer for the feature-length political thriller The Report.