Legislation provides grave liners at no cost for veterans buried at national park cemeteries
U.S. SENATE – Yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed Senator Steve Daines’ bipartisan bill, the Veterans Cemetery Benefit Correction Act. His legislation requires the U.S. Department of the Interior to provide outer burial receptacles – also known as grave liners – for veterans buried in cemeteries under the control of the National Park Service. Daines is Chairman of the U.S. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on National Parks.
Daines’ bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent and now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote.
“Our veterans have made great sacrifices on behalf of our freedom and national security,” said Daines. “The families of these heroes shouldn’t face more burdens simply because a loved one is being laid to rest on National Park land.”
Current law requires the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide an outer burial receptacle to a veteran buried in a national cemetery under the control of the National Cemetery Administration, a branch of the VA. Additionally, the VA can provide a reimbursement if the family chooses to purchase one in lieu of a government-furnished grave liner.
National Park Service cemeteries are not currently covered by this statute, and neither the VA nor the National Park Service is able to provide this benefit for veterans buried in those cemeteries.
The Veterans Cemetery Benefit Correction Act amends the law to require the Department of Interior to provide an outer burial receptacle for each new veteran’s grave in a national cemetery under the control of the National Park Service. This bill also provides for the reimbursement of a veteran’s survivors who provide a privately purchased outer burial receptacle for use in a National Park Service cemetery.