• Congress Passes Legislation So Vets Can Have VA-Issued ID Cards

    The House unanimously passed GOP Rep. Vern Buchanan’s bill Tuesday evening, making all veterans eligible to receive a federal identification card from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Buchanan introduced the bill back in April as a method to give veterans a standardized form of identification and to reduce identity theft. In the past, the Department of Veterans Affairs only issued identification to veterans meeting certain criteria, namely serving for over 20 years or receiving disability care related to service.

    The guidelines meant that only a relatively small number of veterans were able to gain access to the cards, and so most have had to carry what’s called a DD-124 in order to prove that they were once members of the military. The document also contains sensitive information like social security numbers and overly detailed service history records, which make veterans vulnerable to identify theft. (RELATED: Rep Buchanan Introduces Bill To Give All Veterans ID Through The VA)

    Although the bill failed to pass in 2011, this time around it quickly gained traction following turmoil and scandal at the VA. Now that the bill has passed through Congress, it heads to President Barack Obama for his signature.

    “Today is a good day for our nation’s veterans,” said Buchanan, who served four years on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “This bill is a prime example of what we can accomplish when we put partisanship aside and the needs of the country first.”

    Buchanan’s district is home to over 70,000 veterans.

    Donald DiNunzio, a Vietnam-era veteran from Bradenton, Florida, welcomed the bill.

    “I have been asked many times to prove that I am a Vet but carrying around my DD-214 form is difficult and impractical. My DD-214 form is a large 8.5 x 11 carbon copy, delicate, old and quite brittle and thin. Having a permanent Veteran ID card would be a much simpler way of proudly proving my Veteran status.”

    The new identification system will be budget neutral.

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

     

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