FIRST ON FOX: Texas Republican Rep. Troy Nehls and New Hampshire Democrat Rep. Chris Pappas are looking to finally give Medal of Honor recipients a big raise to their pensions.
Fox News Digital has learned that Nehls and Pappas will be reintroducing the bipartisan Medal of Honor Act of 2023 to bump up Medal of Honor recipients’ pensions from monthly payments around $1,500 to an annual $100,000.
“The Medal of Honor represents the highest and most prestigious military decoration of the United States,” Nehls told Fox News Digital. “The men and woman who have earned this honor have gone above and beyond the call of duty in sacrifice to their nation.”
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“Many of these courageous individuals paid the ultimate sacrifice for our great country and only 64 of these heroes are still alive today,” Nehls continued. “I am proudly reintroducing the Medal of Honor Act with my Democratic colleague, Rep. Chris Pappas, to increase the special monthly pension that Medal of Honor Recipients receive to ease financial burdens that they face.”
“This bill is a small step forward, but is the least that we, as Congress, can do to show our support for our selfless heroes and begin the broader dialogue to ensure all our veterans, and their families, receive the care and resources they need,” the former sheriff added.
“Medal of Honor recipients are distinguished for their bravery in service to our country and deserve the utmost respect as recipients of our nation’s highest military award,” Pappas told Fox News Digital.
“We must continue to honor service members who have earned the Medal of Honor after their military service is over by ensuring they are financially secure,” he continued. “This bipartisan legislation will help keep our promise to our service members and veterans, and I thank Congressman Nehls for partnering with me on this important bipartisan legislation.”
The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest military award, having only been awarded to 3,515 service members since its inception in 1863 during the Civil War.
Pension rolls for Medal of Honor recipients were first created in 1916, with pensioners receiving $10 per month from the federal government.
Only recipients of the Medal of Honor are entitled to the pension, should they elect to receive it, and the pension does not increase with each Medal of Honor received.
The lawmakers’ bill will be the first congressional pension raise for Medal of Honor recipients since 2002, when it was raised to $1,000 per month.
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Prior to 2002, the last pension raise came in 1961, which saw the monthly payment raise from $10 to $100.
Without cost of living adjustments, the current base rate that pensioners receive is $1,489.73.
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The bipartisan bill will be introduced into the House of Representatives on Thursday.
Currently, there are 64 living Medal of Honor recipients. Last week, President Biden hailed “a true hero of our nation” by presenting the Medal of Honor to retired Green Beret Col. Paris Davis, one of the first Black officers to lead a Special Forces team in combat.