President Trump Signs Banks’ Veterans Bill
Washington, March 19, 2018
President Donald Trump has signed into law legislation authored by Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03) that corrects existing law regarding headstones provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to the spouses and dependent children of veterans whose remains are never located. H.R. 3656 was signed into law on Friday.
“I am thrilled that President Trump signed my bill to ensure that promises made to our veterans and their families are promises kept,” said Banks. “Losing a loved one is tragic. This legislation will help make a difficult time less complicated by providing consistent eligibility dates for both spouses and children.”
Public Law 105-368 provides headstones for spouses and was enacted in 1998. Public Law 109-461 provides headstones for dependent children and was enacted in 2006. These two laws did not go into effect at the same time, potentially opening the door for a parent to receive this benefit but not a child.
The Banks bill amends title 38 of the United States Code to provide for a consistent eligibility date for spouses and dependent children to receive memorial headstones. The date for both is now set at the current date for spouses – November 11, 1998.