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Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative Act of 2020

Floor Speech

Date: Dec. 8, 2020
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. Speaker, H.R. 8354, codifies the DOJ's Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative, the important work that our Department does to honor and support our Nation's veterans.

The initiative coordinates with the Civil Rights Division and other Justice Department components to enforce Federal laws protecting servicemembers, veterans, and their families. These laws include the Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, and the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act.

The DOJ's enforcement of these laws has helped our men and women in uniform. For example, the Department reports that enforcement of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act has provided more than $474 million in relief for over 120,000 servicemembers whose rights were violated.

Just last year, Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband announced the largest-ever settlement against a landlord or property management company for violations of the SCRA. This is important work that needs to continue.

During the Trump administration, the Justice Department has expanded the Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative by launching the Veterans' Access Initiative. The Veterans' Access Initiative focuses on accessibility issues for veterans and servicemembers under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA is an important tool for ensuring that those veterans who return from service with a disability can effectively reintegrate into civilian life.

The Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative provides resources to the public and legal practitioners about Federal laws protecting servicemembers, veterans, and their families. The initiative also provides support and conducts outreach to servicemembers, veterans, and their families through the military departments.

This is a good bill to codify an existing Justice Department program, and I encourage all Members to support it.

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Mr. ARMSTRONG.
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