BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CBS 42) –– Alabama U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-Ala.) held a press conference in Birmingham to celebrate the repeal of the Military Widow’s Tax Monday. The Widow’s tax which impacts about 2,000 surviving military spouses in the state of Alabama.
The bill has already passed in the House of Representatives and a final vote in the Senate is set to take place this week. And we are told it is expected to pass with broad bipartisan support.
According to Senator Doug Jones’ legislation, the Military Widow’s Tax Elimination Act, will repeal the unfair law that prevents as many as 67,000 surviving military spouses nationwide from receiving their full Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs survivor benefits. Currently, military widows and widowers who qualify for the VA’s Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) are forced to take a dollar-for-dollar offset from the Survivors Benefits Plan (SBP) benefit, even though their retired spouses elected to pay into the program.
For nearly two decades, legislation to repeal the widow’s tax has been repeatedly introduced in the Senate. But under the leadership of Senator Jones, the bill has earned a record-high of 78 cosponsors in the Senate.
Since the bill was introduced, along with Republican Senator Susan Collins in March, they both have worked to gather support among their colleagues in both the Senate and House. They have also made the case on behalf of the tens of thousands of surviving spouses who are impacted by the military widow’s tax.
Most recently, Senator Jones led an effort on the Senate floor to call for inclusion of the repeal in the final defense bill. His proposal passed by a vote of 94-0.
Those who also participated in the press conference with Senator Doug Jones are, retired General Charles Krulak, 31st Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps; Anne Hartline, Military Officers Association of America Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee; and surviving military spouses Carrie Cunningham, Stella Malone, and Donna Martin.
Senator Jones says the vote takes place on Tuesday, December 17th.
(Erica Pettway, CBS 42)