Florida Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R) is urging support for the Major Richard Star Act, a legislative measure to help veterans.
The Florida Republican is urging his colleagues to become original co-sponsors of the Major Richard Star Act. Moreover, REp. Bilirakis wants the legislation to be included in the FY 2024 National Defense Authorization Act or for it to be passed as a standalone bill.
The Military Officers Association of America states that the legislation “would provide concurrent receipt of DoD-earned retirement pay for years of service and VA disability compensation for over 50,300 combat-injured veterans.” As it stands, combat-injured veterans are prone to losing a dollar of retirement pay for every dollar disability pay that they have received, which is “an unjust offset designed to save the government money.
The bipartisan bill will be reintroduced by Bilirakis and California Rep. Raul Ruiz (D) in the House as well as Montana Senator John Tester (R) and Idaho Senator Michael Crapo (R) in the Senate.
Bilirakis further affirmed his support for the bill, telling his followers that he “will not stop fighting until the injustice of concurrent receipt is rectified for all Veterans.”
ICYMI – I will not stop fighting until the injustice of concurrent receipt is rectified for all Veterans. https://t.co/xR4LQDDwF2
— Gus Bilirakis (@RepGusBilirakis) January 19, 2023
The bill was initially introduced late last year, and Bilirakis praised the effort, commenting that "the brave men and women who return from serving our country should be able to receive the benefits promised to them. Military retirement pay and service-connected disability compensation are two completely different benefits. One does not diminish the merits of the other." Ruiz, who is a doctor, echoed in his remarks, adding that "the Major Richard Star Act would repeal the unjust law that stands in the way of veterans receiving the military retirement pay and service-connected disability compensation that they have rightfully earned."
The legislation is named after "a father, husband, and decorated war veteran who, as a result of his combat-related injuries, was medically retired."