Homeless Veterans Bill
On Tuesday of this week the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6328, a bill that would direct the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to give unclaimed clothing recovered at airport security checkpoints to groups that would distribute the items to homeless veterans. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.), who was defeated in her attempt to be re-elected to her seat in the House.
It is estimated there are about 75,000 homeless veterans on any one night in the U.S., and about 20,000 veterans of Iraq/Afghanistan have been homeless within the last five years, according to Bloomberg news.
A similar bill, authored by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and sponsored by 38 members from both parties, would also require the TSA to give any money it recovers at airports to the USO to help fund its activities. That bill, H.R. 2179, has not been considered by the full House.
On Thursday, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) introduced a companion bill in the Senate S.3640. “I thank Rep. Hochul for her leadership on this issue, and I urge my Senate colleagues to join me in supporting this bipartisan, common-sense measure to help our veterans and their families,” Toomey said in a press statement.
Whether or not the Senate has time to act on the Toomey bill is a real question at this point. TREA supports these bills and if they do not become law this year we will support them next year if they are reintroduced in the new Congress.