Bipartisanship is a rarity these days, so when it happens, and by whom, deserves our recognition. The recent actions by members of the For Country Caucus, who recently led a group of members on both sides of the aisle in working towards correcting a tax issue that impacted Gold Star Families, is an example of one such occasion.
Because media attention is an important factor in determining what happens politically, it is critical that these moments are recognized as the epitome of how we expect our elected officials to function, rather than only being pointed out as an anomaly.
The For Country Caucus, a cross-partisan group of military veterans looking to restore the public trust in how Congress operates, deserves our recognition for their consistent focus on “put[ting] their country first.” This emphasis was recently on display when the caucus endorsed its first piece of legislation, H.R. 2481, the Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act.
By way of background, in 2017, when Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, certain survivors’ benefits that accrued to children of survivors were reclassified as “unearned income,” thus subjecting them to higher estate taxes.
No one was more sensitive to this issue than members of Congress who were veterans themselves.
“Our Gold Star veterans and their families made the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” stated Dan Crenshaw (R-Tex.) in a press release, a military veteran who is a member of the For Country Caucus, “We are indebted to these families. The least we can do is change the unintended consequence, so that children aren’t taxed unfairly for a benefit they truly deserve.”
Similarly, Elaine Luria (D-Va.), the original sponsor of the bill in the House stated, “As a proud Navy veteran, it is an honor to be leading the charge to help our Gold Star Families.” She continued, “I am humbled by the outpouring of bipartisan support for this bill.”
Both Luria and Crenshaw are members of the For Country Caucus.
Due to the hard work of veterans like Luria, Crenshaw, and other members of the For Country Caucus, the bill passed out of the House as part of the SECURE Act, which is currently awaiting consideration by the Senate.
Just as important as correcting this tax loophole, however, is the bipartisan nature in which both Republican and Democrats in the House came together around this cause. As many in our nation seek to find solutions to our polarized government, the results show that the answer often lies in the continued service of military veterans.