Federal lawmakers have introduced new legislation to ensure surviving spouses of Coast Guard members will continue to receive Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) payouts during future government shutdowns.
Reps. Mark Green (R-Tenn.) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who are both Army veterans, have introduced the Protecting Gold Star Spouses Act of 2019. MOAA supports the bipartisan bill, H.R. 847, which would ensure the benefit continues during any lapse in funds for the Department of Homeland Security that would normally derail the payments.
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Unlike those serving under the Department of Defense, more than 40,000 members of the Coast Guard worked without pay during the recent shutdown - the longest in U.S. history.
“Gold Star families have suffered enough - they don't need to be used as political pawns during games of partisan brinkmanship,” said Green, a Life Member of MOAA who served as an infantry officer and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. “As a military veteran, I know many Gold Star families that have overcome devastating loss and adversity. The last thing they need is to worry whether or not they will receive their next check.”