Runyan’s COLA Bill Signed into Law
Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday November 27, 2012, President Barak Obama signed into law Congressman Jon Runyan’s (R-NJ) bi-partisan Veterans’ Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Bill, H.R. 4114 the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2012. The legislation passed the House on July 9, 2012 by voice vote and passed the Senate on November 13, 2012 by unanimous consent.
“Our nation’s veterans have sacrificed so much, putting their lives on the line to defend the United States,” said Runyan, “a simple COLA is the least we can do for them. This COLA will help ease the burden facing millions of disabled veterans. In the 113th Congress, I will continue to fight for a yearly COLA for disabled veterans and also continue my fight to make this adjustment automatic, like the Social Security COLA.”
On October 5, 2012, Congressman Runyan sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urging swift action by the Senate on H.R. 4114. The letter was sent in response to a report that a “secret hold” was placed on the bill putting the cost-of-living increase for our nation’s veterans in jeopardy. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) stated that if no action was taken by the Senate before November 13, 2012, they could not guarantee that veterans would get their increase in their January 2013 checks. Thankfully, the Senate was able to pass this bi-partisan bill before the VA’s deadline.
In 2011 the President signed into law S. 894, the Senate companion bill to Congressman Runyan’s legislation, H.R. 1407, the Veterans’ Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2011. Congressman Runyan has also introduced legislation, H.R. 4142 the American Heroes COLA Act, which would make the COLAs automatic. This would give the nation’s veterans a little more certainty in knowing that they will not have to wait for the House of Representatives, Senate, and President to act before a cost-of-living adjustment is granted.
Congressman Runyan is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, House Veterans Affairs Committee, and the Natural Resources Committee. He also serves as the Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs (DAMA).