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Congressman Ralph Abraham

Representing the 5th District of Louisiana

Abraham responds to Edwards' Gold Star letter

April 30, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., released the following statement in response to a letter that Gov. John Bel Edwards sent to members of the Louisiana Congressional delegation today that criticized President Trump's tax cut reforms. 

"Gov. Edwards' letter is a transparent attempt to use Gold Star families to take a shot at President Trump over his signature tax reforms because any amount of research would have shown the governor that efforts are well underway to resolve the benefits issues concerning certain Gold Star families. I have cosponsored HR 553, the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act, that corrects the benefits problem for our surviving military families. My suggestion would be for Gov. Edwards to write his fellow Democrat, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and encourage her to take up this bill since she is the one who controls the floor schedule," Abraham said.

Abraham cosponsored the bill on Feb. 14.

HR 553 changes the current benefit policy so that families receiving both VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation and DoD Survivors Benefits Plan annuities are not unfairly penalized. The bill makes it so that the two plans are not offset and families do not have to put their SBP in the name of their child, which is the underlying issue affecting some families.

HR 553 enjoys broad bipartisan support, yet the Democratic-controlled House still has not held a hearing on the bill.