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Politics

Vern Buchanan's Proposal to Replace DD-214 With Veterans ID Card Delayed Until 2017

February 1, 2016 - 11:30am
Vern Buchanan
Vern Buchanan

After the Military Times reported last week that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was delaying the launch of the Veterans ID card program, a Florida congressman wants answers. 

 Back in July, President Barack Obama signed U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan’s, R-Fla., “Veterans ID Card Act" into law. Buchanan’s proposal looked ensure all veterans receive ID cards from the VA instead of just those vets who served 20 years in the armed forces or are seeking medical treatment for service-related wounds. 

After reports emerged that the VA would not launch the cards until 2017, Buchanan wrote U.S. VA Sec. Robert McDonald, insisting the cards will help crack down on identity theft and offer more convenience for veterans. 

“The VA needs to pick up the pace and move faster on issuing identification cards to any veteran who wants one,” Buchanan said on Thursday. “Another year is too long of a wait as millions of veterans remain vulnerable to identity theft.”

Military Times reported last week that the VA was nowhere near ready to unveil the cards. 

“Veterans Affairs officials said it will likely still be months before anyone gets the new cards,” Military Times reported. “The rule-making process is expected to take at least another year, with production and issuing times still to be decided.”

“This is a lengthy process that requires time for a public comment period as well as approval from the Office of Management and Budget,” the VA told Military Times. “VA currently estimates the program will be implemented in 2017.”

In pushing his bill in the first half of 2015, Buchanan noted veterans are forced to carry DD-214 paperwork, which contains sensitive information including Social Security numbers. He insisted an ID card would be more convenient and do a better job of keeping their personal information secure.

The House passed Buchanan’s bill back in June with 402 representatives backing it and no votes cast against it. In the Senate, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., offered an amendment to the bill ensuring all veterans would be eligible for the ID card. The Senate passed the amended bill without opposition, sending it back to the House, which passed it again, this time on a 411-0 vote.
 
During his efforts to pass the legislation, Buchanan insisted his bill was budget-neutral because veterans who opt for the ID card would pay a small fee, which the VA secretary would examine every five years.

“Every veteran -- past, present, and future -- will now be able to prove their military service without the added risk of identity theft,” Buchanan said in July after Obama signed his bill into law. “It’s the least we can do for the brave men and women in uniform who put it all on the line for us.”

The Florida delegation stood in strong support of Buchanan’s measure. U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., the ranking Democrat on the committee, both backed the bill. Other congressional representatives from Florida who co-sponsored the bill include Republicans Ander Crenshaw, Carlos Curbelo, Ron DeSantis, Mario Diaz-Balart, David Jolly, Bill Posey, Dennis Ross and Ted Yoho, and Democrats Ted Deutch and Alcee Hastings. The bill also won the backing of veterans groups including AMVETS and Veterans for Common Sense (VCS).

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN

Comments

Not everyone is eligible for va healthcare, thus no ID card for those guys. Why shouldn't the rest of the veterans be allowed to have a Federal issued ID card from the VA? We are not burdening the government, and many of us provide ourselves with our company's healthcare insurance. Why are those in the VA system ONLY able to have this ID card? It's not costing them a dime, we pay for it according to the bill. And what's it to those that I receive an ID card from the VA if I want one?

Since most states already include the word "Veteran" on their drivers license why did Congress decide they needed to put something else on the VA's plate? If identity theft was the true reason why didn't those who voted for it go back to the states they represent and ask the respective legislature to introduce legislation to include Veteran on their state issued driver's license. No additional cost to the Veteran, no additional work for the VA. In TN it took well over a year after the Governor signed it into law before Veteran showed up on drivers licenses.

You are absolutely correct. Furthermore, many counties within states, already have Veteran ID card programs set up and that work just fine. One such program comes out of Erie County NY, called "Thank A Vet" discount program where vets bring DD-214 to their County Clerk's Office to be put on file and are issued a picture ID that they can use at over 1,100 businesses in the county for discounts on goods and services. It's pretty great. So what this congressman is asking for is to add more to the plates of a troubled VA system and duplicating services that already exist!! And yes, in NYS, at no cost, we do provide a veterans designation on Driver's Licenses. This guy should do his homework and stop wasting our time and money.

When I Joined the Navy I was given a Service Number. I still remember it. One of the dumbest things the military ever did was to stop using service numbers and started using social security numbers. If you are a POW you are now required to give only your Name, Rank and social security number. That is dumb, dumb, dumb. If we have service men or women captured in the middle east they could have their credit destroyed in the United States while they sit in some hell hole of a prison run by the worst people in the world. If lawmakers do anything that effects Men and women in Uniform or veterans the plan should be looked over and approved or disapproved by someone who understands how the system works and what will happen if a change is made.

The delay is very typical of the VA's attitude towards military veterans. The doctors and nurses should be commended for working for this outfit! No matter what card we use, we'll continue to receive 'attitude' from the VA bigwigs!

I don't understand this "new law". I am a Vietnam Vet who was drafted, served 2 years and received an Honorable Discharge. I have had a VA issued photo ID card for many years....say at least 10. This is the ID that I use when I go to the VA.....easy...already in existance.

This is merely POSTURING by Vern Buchanan (R-16th), designated by "Judicial Watch" as "One of the ten most corrupt politicians of 2012". (Read about "Vern" in Peter Scweitzer's book "EXTORTION". Vern Buchanan ALSO voted to FUND Obama's "Illegal Amnesty" (which will be a 'forever' ongoing drain upon Florida's taxpayers..) )

http://www.cfabamerica.com/evaluation-and-recommendation-of-the-veterans-administration-va-charles-frederick-tolbert-edd-retired-master-sergeant Charles Frederick Tolbert EdD Retired MSGT Candidate for US Senate Florida 2016

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