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US Sen. Pat Toomey’s tax-relief bill for Gold Star families passes Senate

Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr))

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey’s bill providing tax relief to children who have had a parent die while serving in the military passed the Senate last week.

The Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act, introduced May 8 by Toomey, R-Lehigh County, and a bipartisan group of colleagues, was approved on unanimous consent on May 21. It now goes to the U.S. House for consideration.

“The fair tax treatment of survivor benefits provided to the children of fallen soldiers isn’t a matter for partisan politics,” Toomey said in a joint statement. “By unanimously passing our bipartisan bill (Tuesday), the Senate honors those Gold Star families who led the fight to have Congress address this issue.”

The legislation was spurred by an unintended consequence of the Republican-backed tax cut plan that began taxing survivor benefits at the rate applied to investment income and high-income families rather than the parent’s tax rate as was previously done.

If it is passed and signed into law, the benefits would be taxed at a child’s individual tax rate. The change would be retroactive to 2018 taxes.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, was a co-sponsor on the bill.

Also last week, Toomey reintroduced his Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act, which is intended to end the policy of cities prohibiting their police from cooperating with federal immigration agencies when it comes to detaining illegal immigrants.

The bill would withhold certain law enforcement grants from so-called sanctuary cities that continue their policies. The legislation would also ensure that plaintiffs who sue over alleged rights violations by law enforcement sue the federal government and not local officials complying to federal requests.

Toomey’s previous attempt to get the sanctuary cities bill passed ended in February 2018 when he could not gather the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.

“These policies, like the ones in Philadelphia and San Francisco, make it harder to stop illegal immigration and keep dangerous criminals off the streets,” Toomey said in a statement. “Sanctuary cities extend a special protection to illegal immigrants even when federal immigration officials identify them as a threat to public safety. This is simply inexcusable, and I urge my colleagues to help pass this common sense measure.”

U.S. Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and John Kennedy, R-La., joined Toomey in introducing the bill.


© 2019 the Beaver County Times (Beaver, Pa.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.