Like Causes?

Install the App
TRY NOW

senate Bill S. 327

Should All Veterans With Service-Connected Disabilities Receive Free National Parks Passes?

Argument in favor

Experiencing the outdoors can be very healing and restorative, especially America’s National Parks and federal recreational lands. As a way of showing gratitude to those who have served, this bill would allow any veteran with a service-connected disability to receive free National parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes, not just those who have 100% disability.

jimK's Opinion
···
11/16/2020
Sure. Why not? But why now? How about giving free lifetime passes to to 500,000 Americans which will have been killed by March due to our legislature’s inability or unwillingness to correct the trump experiment? Oh yeah, they will be dead by the time the parks re-open. PRIORITIES!!!
Like (98)
Follow
Share
Brian's Opinion
···
11/16/2020
Our veterans should be rewarded for their service, especially those who might have been disabled for performing their duty. The National Park System is one of our great treasures, and giving disabled veterans lifetime free admission seems like a just reward and a great opportunity to provide the healing ability of nature to these veterans. This wouldn't really cost us anything, and may help boost attendance at some parks.
Like (29)
Follow
Share
larubia's Opinion
···
11/16/2020
Veterans who have served, with service related disabilities should have access to a lot of things! One of them being free access to National Parks. I would add so much more. These men & women have lost so much to serve and protect us all. Whatever we can give back, we should!!!
Like (24)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

People who are classified as having 100% permanent disabilities are already eligible for free National Parks Passes. Broadening the group of people who are eligible for free National Parks Passes would by definition reduce the number of people who might purchase passes, thereby reducing the National Parks Services’ revenue.

Alexandra's Opinion
···
11/16/2020
Instead of giving them Natl Parks passes as an "attaboy" give them free healthcare for the duration of their lives. Every veteran should be taken care of.
Like (90)
Follow
Share
burrkitty's Opinion
···
11/16/2020
How about fully funding the VA instead of platitudes? Save this cute stuff for AFTER the big problems are managed.
Like (53)
Follow
Share
mtracy's Opinion
···
11/17/2020
In a country where 11% of the adult homeless population are veterans I would consider this a slap in the face. It is disrespectful to those who have served our country. Albeit, I don’t agree with America’s obsession with the military industrial complex, but to people who do lay their life down for what they see is American freedom, they deserve better than to see some National Parks. They deserve housing, healthcare, water, and every necessity to live.
Like (21)
Follow
Share

What is Senate Bill S. 327?

This bill, known as the Wounded Veterans Recreation Act, would instruct the Dept. of Defense (DOD) and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) to make the National Parks and Recreational Lands Pass available to veterans with service-connected disabilities and U.S. citizens and residents who have been medically determined to be permanently disabled free of charge for their full lifetimes. This would apply to veterans with both compensable and non-compensable service-connected disabilities. 

Currently, all Americans, including veterans, who are classified as having a 100% permanent disability are eligible for free National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes. This bill would amend the 2004 Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA), to make all veterans with service-related disabilities eligible for a free, lifetime pass to national parks and federal lands, not just those with 100% disability.

Impact

Disabled Americans; National Parks; Dept. of Defense; and Dept. of Agriculture.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 327

$0.00
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that this bill wouldn’t have any net cost.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to give disabled veterans free access to all national parks:

“Our veterans deserve access to the public lands they sacrificed to protect. This bipartisan bill would allow our brave military men and women living with service-related disabilities the opportunity to experience our federal parks and lands, which can play an important role in their rehabilitation. New Hampshire is home to a number of these beautiful spaces, and this legislation would help open the door for more of our veterans to visit and enjoy our state’s natural beauty.” 

Original Republican cosponsor Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) adds: 

“The brave men and women who have served in our military and have been wounded defending our nation should have free access to our national parks and recreational areas – the American land they fought to protect . From Acadia to Denali, and everywhere in between, this legislation would allow disabled veterans to more easily access our country’s national treasures for outdoor recreation, which can help heal both the visible and invisible wounds of war.”

Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), sponsor of this bill’s House companion, notes that the current bar of 100% disability for a free lifetime National Parks and Recreation Act “sets a relatively high bar for qualification.” He adds:

“National parks can connect our veterans with nature and increase their spiritual, mental, and physical well-being. Through the Wounded Veterans Recreation Act, we will expand the opportunity for our disabled veterans to visit these cherished sites and improve their overall health. I look forward to working to pass this bipartisan legislation, which would heal and improve the lives of our veterans.”

Mission Veteran supports this legislation. Its Executive Director, Edward Robles, says:

“I strongly support the Wounded Veterans Recreation Act. As Executive Director of Mission Veteran, a non-profit that works directly with veterans through retreats in areas within national parks, I can tell you through our experiences that it can be healing and beneficial for veterans.  These are the lands veterans have defended through service – it should not matter whether they are 100% or 10%, they should have access to these parks.  By removing this barrier, Veterans can find outlets to support each other, through programs like Mission Veteran and other non-profits and can engage each other in a healthy natural environment that promotes dialogue, support, and recreation.  Most importantly it is a way for community and elected officials to validate the service of any veteran who has suffered a disability due to service.”

This bill unanimously passed the Senate with the support of three bipartisan Senate cosponsors, including two Democrats and one Republican, and has now been placed on the House calendar. Its House companion, which has two bipartisan House cosponsors (one from each party), has not yet received a committee vote.

Last Congress, the Senate version of this bill was sponsored by Sen. Shaheen with four bipartisan Senate cosponsors (two Democrats, one Republican and one Independent) and it did not receive a committee vote. The House companion, sponsored by Rep. Ruiz, had 11 bipartisan House cosponsors (including nine Democrats and two Republicans) and also didn’t receive a committee vote.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / kellyvandellen)

AKA

Wounded Veterans Recreation Act

Official Title

A bill to amend the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act to provide for a lifetime National Recreational Pass for any veteran with a service-connected disability.

bill Progress


  • EnactedDecember 3rd, 2020
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The house Passed November 16th, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 401 Yea / 0 Nay
  • The senate Passed June 22nd, 2020
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      National Parks
      Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
    IntroducedFebruary 4th, 2019

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    Sure. Why not? But why now? How about giving free lifetime passes to to 500,000 Americans which will have been killed by March due to our legislature’s inability or unwillingness to correct the trump experiment? Oh yeah, they will be dead by the time the parks re-open. PRIORITIES!!!
    Like (98)
    Follow
    Share
    Instead of giving them Natl Parks passes as an "attaboy" give them free healthcare for the duration of their lives. Every veteran should be taken care of.
    Like (90)
    Follow
    Share
    How about fully funding the VA instead of platitudes? Save this cute stuff for AFTER the big problems are managed.
    Like (53)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes, but more important is the healthcare they are receiving (or not)!
    Like (41)
    Follow
    Share
    Our veterans should be rewarded for their service, especially those who might have been disabled for performing their duty. The National Park System is one of our great treasures, and giving disabled veterans lifetime free admission seems like a just reward and a great opportunity to provide the healing ability of nature to these veterans. This wouldn't really cost us anything, and may help boost attendance at some parks.
    Like (29)
    Follow
    Share
    Veterans who have served, with service related disabilities should have access to a lot of things! One of them being free access to National Parks. I would add so much more. These men & women have lost so much to serve and protect us all. Whatever we can give back, we should!!!
    Like (24)
    Follow
    Share
    In a country where 11% of the adult homeless population are veterans I would consider this a slap in the face. It is disrespectful to those who have served our country. Albeit, I don’t agree with America’s obsession with the military industrial complex, but to people who do lay their life down for what they see is American freedom, they deserve better than to see some National Parks. They deserve housing, healthcare, water, and every necessity to live.
    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
    Will the President sign this legislation giving Park Passes to Disabled Vets? He should. Costs Nothing for this Token Gesture. We'll see. ************** Representatives & Senators, Thank you for passing The Wounded Veterans Reaction Act, Senate Bill S. 327 [Please support Senate Bill S. 327.] It is a lovely gesture. Fresh air, sunshine, trees, and majestic views. However, I want you to consider an opinion by a fellow Causes poster: "Vets don’t need free passes to state parks that already underfunded can’t really afford to take another financial hit when parks are constantly catching on fire. What Vets need is better healthcare, vocational rehabilitation, and mental health services. This seems like a feel-good bill." Further, my dear Senators, while you do support the far more important COVID-19 relief legislation, you are failing the leadership test abysmally. You are allowing Trump and McConnell to stop the legislation from going through when COVID Relief has the overwhelming support of the American people. You are allowing Trump's false narrative to deceive 48% of American's with your inaction. Many of Cable TV's talking heads believe Trump and most Republicans are wrecking America’s democratic system of government and they are 100% right, but I believe the Democrats are contributing by their failure to fight hard. Revised 11/17/2020
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    Anything for these folks --
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    WTF??!!! Ok, give out passes. But corona ravaged American citizens need healthcare NOW, need rent relief NOW, healthcare workers NOW need PPE, MORE NURSES AND DOCTORS, HOSPITAL SPACE RIGHT FUC#ING NOW. And, our congress is wasting time on free frigging passes to a national park?!
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    So nice of you Rep. Brady to vote Yes on this you F’ing Authoritarian loving COWARD! When are you going to call up President-Elect Biden to congratulate him and then go on Faux Noise and tell the Dump it’s over and time to transition over! Like I said, COWARD!
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    @Jimk Right on dammit. Right on.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    While the intent of the original bill to allow disabled Veterans to access National Parks & Recreational Lands at no cost was good, there should never have been a criteria in terms of percent of disability, i.e. 100% disability. This bill rectifies the shortfall.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    Yep!
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    Vets don’t need free passes to state parks that already underfunded can’t really afford to take another financial hit when parks are constantly catching on fire. What Vets need is better healthcare, vocational rehabilitation, and mental health services. This seems like a feel good bill.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Why not?
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Anything we can do for our veterans.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a no brainer - of course they should.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    It’s the least we can do for them.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE