Scott, Isakson Bill to Provide Equal Burial Benefits for Veterans Signed Into Law

June 18, 2018
Press Release
Legislation provides grave liners at no cost for veterans buried at national park cemeteries

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Friday, President Donald Trump signed into law the Veterans Cemetery Benefit Correction Act (H.R. 4910), legislation sponsored by Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) to provide grave liners at no cost for veterans buried at cemeteries under the control of the National Park Service (NPS). In Georgia, this would include Andersonville National Cemetery in Andersonville. This benefit was previously only available to veterans buried in cemeteries under the control of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

H.R. 4910 passed the House of Representatives on Monday, May 7 and the U.S. Senate on Friday, May 25.

“By enacting this legislation, we are ensuring that our veterans and their families receive the benefits promised to them, no matter where they are laid to rest,” said Rep. Scott. “I thank Sen. Isakson for his support in the coordinated push to close this critical gap in burial benefits, as well as the support of Congressman Sanford Bishop. I also thank President Trump for swiftly signing H.R. 4910 into law and his continued support for our nation’s veterans.”

“I’m pleased to see this bill signed into law, lifting the unfair burden on the families of veterans who are buried in cemeteries managed by the National Park Service,” said Sen. Isakson, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “This bill ensures that all veterans are receiving the burial benefits they have earned regardless of where they are laid to rest. I thank President Trump and Rep. Austin Scott for their support for our veterans.”

This bill also provides for the reimbursement of a veteran’s survivors who provide a privately purchased outer burial receptacle for use in a NPS-managed cemetery. Of the 14 national cemeteries controlled by the NPS, two are still active: Andersonville National Cemetery in Georgia and Andrew Johnson National Cemetery in Tennessee.

In the House, cosponsors of Rep. Scott’s legislation include U.S. Representatives Sanford Bishop (GA-02), Marsha Blackburn (TN-07), Paul Cook (CA-08), Scott DesJarlais (TN-04), Neal Dunn (FL-02), Drew Ferguson (GA-03), Karen Handel (GA-06), Walter B. Jones (NC-03), Steve Scalise (LA-01), Mac Thornberry (TX-13), and Mike Turner (OH-10).

In the Senate, co-sponsors of the legislation include U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Steve Daines (R-MT), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV)., Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Thom Tillis (R-NC).

Additionally, H.R. 4910 is supported by outside veterans groups including the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Vietnam Veterans of America.