Congressman Thomas J. Rooney

Representing the 17th District of Florida

ICYMI— Rooney Bill to Protect Veterans Unanimously Passes the House

May 25, 2016
Press Release


In Case You Missed It – On April 12, 2016, The Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act (H.R. 4676),authored by Congressman Tom Rooney (R-FL) and Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL), passed the House of Representatives with unanimous bipartisan support, by a vote of 411-0. This bill is swiftly moving through the Senate Judiciary Committee and will hopefully be signed into law by President Obama soon.

Read more about it:  Since the bill passed the House, it has been making headlines across the state of Florida and beyond. Here you can see some of the coverage, just in case you missed it.

House approves Rooney bill establishing penalties for those who defraud veterans
“Rooney’s bill would establish penalties for those who defraud veterans of their benefits. Those found guilty would be subject to a fine, up to five years in prison, or both.”

Federal bill would jail those who prey on former soldiers
“Nearly 20,000 veterans live in Highlands County, and 75,000 in the 17th Congressional District, said U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R- Okeechobee. He sponsored HR 4676, which unanimously passed the House in April.”

Federal bill would jail those who prey on veterans
“We intervene in a lot of this,” said Denise Williams, the Highlands County veteran’s service officer. “It happens at least once a month. “If I see anything out of character, I can call the sheriff’s department or the Department of Veterans Affairs as well,” Williams said.

Editorial: Punish those who scam vets
“The bill awaits action in the Senate. Despite the cantankerous climate in Washington, this is an easy call, so the Senate should move quickly to adopt it. Meanwhile, we urge veterans to be suspicious of unexpected solicitations from those claiming to represent the VA or one of its approved groups, especially if people seek personal information and if the veteran has not had any recent contact with the VA.”

Bill would punish financial schemers
“But as Rooney’s office noted, some “financial predators” seek to hoodwink veterans or their families by offering the preparation services for a fee — often a hefty one —and asserting that they can speed up the sluggish application process. Yet once paid, the alleged agent doesn’t actually have to do anything, or simply absconds with the loot.”

Our View: Governments needs to punish the schemers
“It’s no secret that when its constituents seek to apply for or claim rightfully owed benefits, the federal government can present a bewildering labyrinth of regulations and paperwork. Given that, it’s also not surprising that many of us seek help from people experienced in navigating the system.”

Our Perspective: Protecting Veterans
“Now, two Florida congressmen hope they have created a disincentive to prevent con men from scheming military veterans or their families.”

Rooney's, Deutch's Veterans Fraud Bill Passes House 
“Two members of the Florida congressional delegation scored a win on Tuesday as their bill to safeguard veterans against fraud passed the U.S. House without opposition.” 
“Rooney, who sits on the House Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, taught at West Point and served in the Army, brought out bills last year which called for increasing penalties on criminals who target veterans with other frauds.”