McMorris Rodgers Sponsors Legislation to Help Eastern Washington Veterans

(Washington , D.C.)  Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers today signed on to two pieces of legislation that will help veterans and their families with burial costs.  The legislation will also increase funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs state cemetery grant program – the program which will help fund an Eastern Washington Veterans cemetery.
“We must provide our veterans with the services, care and benefits they deserve,” said McMorris Rogers.  “As we prepare to build a cemetery in Eastern Washington for our veterans, these bills will make burial more affordable for our veterans and their families.”
The two bills are H.R. 2696, the Veterans’ Dignified Burial Assistance Act that increases federally funded burial plot allowance from $300 to $400 for veterans buried in state cemeteries, or any cemetery other than national cemeteries.  H.R. 4141 extends a $300 plot allowance for burial to children and spouses of certain veterans in state cemeteries. 
The Veterans Dignified Burial Assistance act also waives the deadline (currently two years from the veteran’s burial) for the state to file for reimbursement and authorizes up to $5 million to be spent under the Department of Veterans Affairs state cemetery grant program for operating and maintaining state cemeteries. 
“Having a veteran’s cemetery in Eastern Washington has long been a goal of mine and would be used by over 140,000 veterans in my Eastern Washington district,” continued McMorris Rodgers.  “The additional money made available for state cemeteries should help our efforts in Eastern Washington.”
Both bills have been referred to the House Veterans Affairs Committee for consideration.  Construction of an Eastern Washington Veterans Cemetery is slated to begin in November 2008.

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