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President Obama Signs Dr. Benishek’s Bill to Help Northern Michigan Veterans Into Law
WASHINGTON, DC: U.S. President Barack Obama today signed into law Dr. Dan Benishek’s (MI-01) legislation to provide Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) greater access to federal surplus property, such as spare vehicles and equipment, for use at their facilities.
“The passage of this law will help our local veterans’ organizations better serve their members. This new law will eliminate needless Washington regulations that were preventing our veterans from getting access to surplus property that they can put to good use at local posts. To me, it’s just common sense. Northern Michigan’s vets fought for our freedoms and they deserve to have access to these items,” said Dr. Benishek, a general surgeon who worked in the Iron Mountain VA Medical Center for 20 years.
Veterans’ organizations are eligible for surplus property. However, under previous federal law, all organizations were required to demonstrate that they are acquiring the property for educational or public health purposes. Due to strict interpretation of the old law, VSOs were prevented from receiving such surplus property as office supplies, furniture, or vehicles. Dr. Benishek’s newly passed law will simply remove the education or public health restriction for qualified VSOs and allow these organizations to receive surplus property as Congress originally intended.
“Having access to surplus items like refrigerators and furniture and spare vehicles will make it easier for our VSOs to save some money and operate in this tough economy. I was glad to help lead this bipartisan effort in Congress. It will help veterans up here in Northern Michigan,” added Dr. Benishek, Michigan’s only member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
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