WASHINGTON, DC – October 9, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Mark Schauer voted to pass two key measures for our American veterans. The Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act (H.R. 3590), which passed with bipartisan support today, will extend the deadline for taking advantage of the first-time homebuyer tax credit under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for qualified service members by one year. Today’s House passage of an amendment to the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act (H.R. 1016) will help advance the legislation towards a Presidential signature. The bill authorizes Congress to approve investments in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical care one year in advance to provide more predictable health care funding for veterans.
“These bills are about keeping our promises to veterans,” said Schauer. “By extending the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit by an additional year for qualified service members, we can help more veterans realize the American dream of homeownership. Additionally, by establishing a more predictable funding pattern for VA medical services, we can make sure veterans have access to more reliable, high quality health care.”
Background on the Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act (HR 3590)
The legislation extends for one year, to December 1, 2010, the deadline for taking advantage of the $8,000 first-time homebuyer credit for qualifying service members, so that certain service members stationed overseas can take advantage of the credit when they return home. It would also ensure that service members will not have to repay the first-time home buyer credit if they are ordered to deploy to a different location and, as a result, forced to sell their home within three years of buying it. Additionally, the bill would ensure that certain payments are tax-exempt under the Defense Housing Assistance Program (HAP), which assists military personnel selling a home that has declined in value.
HR 3590 is supported by the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Officers Association of America, National Military Family Association, American Foreign Service Association, National Association of Home Builders, and National Association of Realtors.
Background on the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act (HR 1016)
Last year was the first time in 12 years in which the veterans’ appropriations bill was enacted on time. This year, the House passed the veterans’ appropriations bill on time, but the Senate has not yet completed action on the bill.
HR 1016, co-sponsored by Congressman Schauer, authorizes Congress to approve investments in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical care one year in advance to provide time for the VA to deliver the best care to an increasing number of veterans with increasingly complex medical conditions. Reform of the method in which the VA health care system is funded continues to be a top legislative priority for many veteran service organizations.
In a letter sent by eleven veteran service organizations to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, a vote for H.R. 1016 “will be among the most important for veterans and their families.”