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Politics

For Third Time, Ted Deutch Gets Bill Protecting Veterans From Fraud Through the House

February 11, 2019 - 9:15am

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., is hoping the third time is the charm for his “Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act” which passed the U.S. House without opposition last week. 

Back in 2016, then U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., and Deutch brought out the “Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act” with then U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., as a co-sponsor of the bill. The House passed the bill in a 411-0 vote later that year but the Senate version, which was sponsored by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., did not pass before the start of the new Congress.  The same thing happened again last year. 

The bill proposes increasing penalties on conmen targeting veterans by charging illegal fees for help in appealing a claim with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. If the bill becomes law, violators would face fines and prison sentences up to five years. 

With U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC, now as the main cosponsor, Deutch got the bill passed on a 417-0 vote last week. 

"After veterans and their families have made such sacrifices for our country and our national security, it is so deeply reprehensible that people would seek them out to defraud them with these scams," Deutch after the vote on Thursday. "Congress must put a penalty to the crime so we can discourage this predatory behavior. Let's close this despicable loophole and protect our veterans from pension poachers and fraudsters."

“Congress has both a responsibility and an obligation to step up and protect our veterans against financial predators," Meadows said. "Closing loopholes in existing laws and providing law enforcement with additional tools to crack down on criminals targeting veterans’ benefits will be a needed reform to the process. It would send a loud and clear message of support to those who have served our country so faithfully and guard them against any effort to rob them of their hard earned benefits. I thank all my colleagues for their support and want to thank the gentleman from Florida, Ted Deutch, the lead Democratic cosponsor, for his leadership on this important measure.”

Now the question is can Rubio and other backers get it over the finishing line in the Senate though there is no version in that upper chamber yet. 

Comments

These are those "feel good" issues Dems love to spend their time passing. Republicans who are also unwilling to confront the hard issues will sign on to these show pieces of "bipartisanship". What a cop out. All these representatives should be concentrating on passing funding to build the WALL and then, after we are secure at our southern border REFORM OUR IMMIGRATON LAWS TO keep the bad guys out and to encourage MERIT BASED immigrants into our country LEGALLY! This is just window dressing, trying to pander to the Veterans. Trump is doing the heavy lifting in his attempt to overhaul the Veteran's Administration. That is where the REAL work is producing a major improvement to the lives of so many Veteran's As usual, the U.S. Congress is proving its irrelevance. If Veterans are swindled, there are lows to protect them...the same laws that protect all of us against criminals.

Why a special case, a special law, for "veterans"? The Constitution calls for "equal protection under the law" for EVERYBODY ... not just veterans - or any other "special" minority!

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