Since 2019, With Honor Action working alongside the bipartisan For Country Caucus of 25 veterans in the U.S. House of Representatives helped pass 44 laws on a range of bipartisan priorities for our nation. This legislation falls into three key areas: national security and U.S. competitiveness, national service and civic education, and veterans affairs. Certain highlights are noted below. A comprehensive list of our 2021 accomplishments can be found here.
National Security and U.S. Competitiveness:
Afghanistan: Helped reform and increase the number of Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs), for Afghans who worked alongside the U.S. military, with the HOPE for Afghan SIVs Act, the Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs (ALLIES) Act, and the WELCOMED Act. Established a bipartisan Congressional commission to investigate the U.S.’s involvement in Afghanistan and our flawed withdrawal.
Artificial Intelligence: Enacted six efforts from the bipartisan National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) final report, including the development of a Digital Infrastructure Plan, establishment of Digital Recruiting Offices, update of federal occupation series fields, development of a National Defense Science and Technology Strategy, and requirement of yearly reports on the implementation of NSCAI recommendations.
Cybersecurity: Enacted recommendations from the bipartisan Cybersecurity Solarium Commission’s final report, including the establishment of a National Cyber Director, the development of a strategy to secure government emails, the evaluation of the need to organize a Cyber Reserve Force, and the creation of a Joint Cyber Planning Office.
NATO: Reaffirmed strong bipartisan Congressional support for the North American Treaty Organization (NATO), which is critical to achieving United States national security interests and defense objectives around the world.
Representative Jason Crow, Army Iraq and Afghanistan veteran and member of the bipartisan For Country Caucus, at With Honor Action’s 117th Congress Gala receiving the Principles Before Politics Award for his work on behalf of our Afghan allies.
National Service and Civic Education:
Voluntary national service: Increased funding for national service programs by $1 billion to increase living allowances for those who serve and deploy. This represented the first major expansion of voluntary national service programs in over two decades.
Public Health Ready Reserve Corps: Established a new Ready Reserve Corps within the U.S. Public Health Ready Reserve Corps to aid in our response to the coronavirus and future public health emergencies.
Inspire to Serve Act: Introduced the Inspire to Serve Act in the U.S. House, and passed provisions in it including expanding STEM and Civic Education in America’s High Schools through the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) Program.
Representatives Don Bacon and Elaine Luria packing care packages with Operation Gratitude at the DC Armory. For Country Caucus veterans routinely conduct public service together across party lines.
GWOT National Memorial: Passed the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Location Act, which authorizes the establishment of a Global War on Terrorism Memorial on the National Mall.
Tax relief for gold star families and widows: Reduced the tax burden for approximately 67 thousand Gold Star families by ensuring they can continue to receive all survivor benefits they are entitled to. Eliminated the “widow’s tax,” which previously prevented more than 65,000 surviving spouses of fallen soldiers from receiving their full survivor benefits, saving families an average of approximately $12,000 per year.
Mental health: Improved upon Department of Defense (DOD) mental health efforts through the Brandon Act, named after United States Navy Petty Officer Third Class Brandon Caserta. This legislation enables service members to seek mental health services anonymously and charges commanders and supervisors with ensuring warfighters obtain mental health services quickly.
The For Country Caucus leading the Global War on Terror Memorial Press Conference prior to the successful passing of the GWOT Memorial Act into law