Buchanan Introduces Legislation to Address Military Dependents that are Victims of Domestic Abuse

Buchanan Introduces Legislation to Address Military Dependents that are Victims of Domestic Abuse

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
July 12, 2023

With the House of Representatives set to look at the 2024 Fiscal year National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in the coming days, Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) announced that his bipartisan Rachael Booth Act will be included in the NDAA.

The Rachael Booth Act addresses gaps in the legal system that “prevents some individuals who suffer domestic abuse at the hands of a service member from receiving much-needed financial assistance.”

Rachael Booth is a constituent of Rep. Buchanan in Lithia, Florida, according to Rep. Buchanan’s press release. After her abusive husband was found guilty of domestic abuse in a civilian court but then was discharged from the Armed Forces on an unrelated offense, Booth was unable to receive the financial assistance – Transitional Compensation (CP) – she should’ve been eligible for.

Congressman Steven Horsford (D-NV) is the Democratic co-sponsor.

“Just as our men and women in the Armed Forces sacrifice for their country, so too do military spouses. In times of crisis, it’s critical that they are able to access these benefits in a timely and efficient manner,” Buchanan stated. “I’m pleased to see our legislation included in this year’s NDAA to help domestic abuse victims like Rachael get back on their feet as soon as possible.”

Buchanan’s legislation would allow military dependents that have suffered domestic abuse to receive TC regardless of the reasoning for the service member’s discharge.

Rep. Horsford said, “After surviving the trauma of domestic violence, survivors who were victimized by service members could be left without vital resources to transition to financial independence. I am proud of the bipartisan work my colleague Rep. Buchanan and I did to get the Rachael Booth Act included in the NDAA bill coming to the floor this week. This language will allow for financial support to the survivors of domestic violence and close a shameful gap in the Pentagon’s transitional compensation program."

In November of 2021, Buchanan introduced the Rachael Booth Act alongside Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) who brought forth the companion legislation in the Senate. Rubio is doing so yet again this Congress.

At the time of the initial introduction of the bill, Sen. Rubio stated, “Our current law did not serve Rachel Booth and it will not serve future victims who find themselves in the same difficult situation. This legislation fixes the error in current law that prevents victims whose cases are handled by civilian courts from being eligible for transitional compensation. I urge my Senate colleagues to support this bill and deliver financial relief to these individuals.”

Rubio’s version had bipartisan support as well.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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