In a bipartisan act, U.S. Representatives Tim Bishop and Peter King of New York, and Jon Runyan of New Jersey, have introduced an updated version of the Renovate and Enhance Veterans’ Meeting Halls and Posts Act, known widely as REVAMP, in the House of Representatives.
The legislation aims to provide America’s veterans organizations with up to $50 million annually to make repairs and renovations to their meeting halls and facilities.
The posts of veterans service organizations, such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, serve as unofficial community centers. Many of these facilities have deteriorated in recent years due to declining membership and reduced rental revenues as a result of the economic downturn, according to the legislators.
The REVAMP Act of 2013 would create a competitive grant program with awards of up to $200,000 for those veterans’ organizations classified by the IRS as 501(c)(19) non-profit organizations. The money could then be used to make repairs and improvements to their existing facilities.
The bill would be deficit-neutral, according to the legislators, noting that it would be funded from an existing community development block grant program that totaled nearly $3 billion in 2013.
“This bipartisan legislation will honor veterans for their service to our nation, and to our communities through service organizations when they return home,” said Mr. Bishop, a Democrat from Southampton. “These organizations and their facilities serve big cities and small towns across America, and this bipartisan legislation recognizes and supports their vital role.”
Both Mr. King and Mr. Runyan are members of the Republican Party.