Congressman Brian Mast Gives a Congressional Update

At an event dubbed “A Community Conversation”, District 18 Congressman Brian Mast gave a legislative update to a welcoming and enthusiastic PBCTP crowd last evening at Abacoa.

Starting with bills he is personally submitting, he described two:

– the “Oath of Exit”, an amendment to be offered on the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which asks veterans who are mustering out to pledge support for their fellow veterans and seek help with their own problems.

– the “Veterans Homestead Act”, like the Homestead Act of the 1800’s, would provide land – 1 acre per year of service, to veterans to provide them entrepreneurial opportunities.

Individual Unemployability

On May 23, the Trump Administration’s Department of Veterans Affairs released the first budget request for Fiscal Year 2018. This budget proposal initially called for terminating Individual Unemployability (IU) benefits to those eligible for Social Security retirement benefits under the rationale that this constitutes a duplication of benefits when in fact, it does not. The Individual Unemployability program supports veterans who cannot find work due to service- connected injuries (injuries sustained while serving our country). Many have been unable to contribute to Social Security as they have been unable to maintain substantially gainful employment due to these injuries. This budget proposal would impact nearly every Vietnam-era veteran whose survival depends on the Individual Unemployability program.

Since the May 23rd proposal, veterans organizations have galvanized opposing such cuts. Congressman Mast is in agreement and would not support cuts to veterans in receipt of Individual Unemployability.

– Andrea Plescia

Although you wouldn’t know it from the mainstream media, the House of Representative has accomplished a lot in their first six months. In particular, Brian talked about:

Unfortunately, only the Congressional Review Acts have become law – the rest are gathering dust in our dysfunctional Senate. In Brian’s view, the agenda today is driven by group-think and the GOP Senators are a disappointment.

There were many questions submitted on index cards from the audience, including:

In closing, Brian said he is planning some townhalls during the August recess (assuming the House does not stay in session), one of which will be in Palm Beach County. He asks that all of his supporters show up and bring their friends. A lot of his townhalls in the past few months have been packed with opponents of Brian and the Trump agenda and he could really use our help to show balance.

The next PBCTP meeting will be at Abacoa on July 31 with Chris Gaubatz who will talk about “Understanding the Threat” of radical Islam in the US.