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These Lawmakers Haven’t Cosponsored the Major Richard Star Act, Yet*

View the NYC Daily Post’s previous article about the Major Richard Star Act here. Read on to learn which lawmakers haven’t cosponsored the Star Act.

The Major Richard Star Act, a piece of highly supported non-partisan legislation, is held up in its respective House and Senate committees. Ahead of midterms, concerned veterans are questioning why their lawmakers haven’t advanced this legislation for a vote. The legislation, when passed into law, would allow medically retired veterans with combat-related disabilities and less than 20 years of active military service to collect their earned retirement and disability benefits. Under current law, these veterans must forfeit their retirement pay to receive their disability benefits.

In the House, Rep. Adam Smith (D- WA), who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, has not passed the legislation out of committee for a House vote. Also in the House, Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA), Chairwoman of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Memorial and Disability Affairs, has not passed the legislation out of the subcommittee. In the House, the Star Act, HR 1282, has 330 cosponsors. With most of the support coming from Democratic leadership, some veterans question why the Star Act hasn’t received the opportunity for a floor vote.

In the Senate, Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) chairs the Armed Services Committee where the Star Act is being held. Unless released from committees, legislation rarely receives a floor vote in either chamber of Congress. Some veterans who applaud the 66 senators who cosponsor the Senate version of the Star Act, S. 344, ask why such a strongly endorsed piece of legislation hangs in limbo.

The Major Richard Star Act would allow an estimated 50,000+ medically retired veterans with combat-related injuries and less than 20 years of active military service to receive their earned retirement pay and their Veterans Affairs disability pay, a process known as concurrent receipt. Often, these veterans battle severe injuries incurred from their military service.

Why Hasn’t the Major Richard Star Act Received a Floor Vote?

Lawmakers have responded that the Star Act could not be advanced in the FY 23 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) because costs would need to be offset for any legislation that could increase the deficit. However, several advocates for the Star Act note that every year the Department of Defense (DoD) is required to submit its budget request, which includes costs associated with all retirees. In other words, with the money to fund the Star Act allotted in the annual Defense budget, veterans are questioning where their apportioned money goes.

In a recent article, Sen. Crapo (R- ID) answers veterans’ concerns, stating, “The funding for this policy change will come from the existing Military Retiree Trust Fund, with no increase to VA or DOD budgets.”

When reviewing the Star Act’s estimated costs, another key point stands out. Once the legislation is passed, eligible veterans who currently receive Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) could instead opt to receive their earned retirement pay. In doing so, the costs associated with the CRSC program would decrease. In essence, passing the Star Act would be a cost-sensitive opportunity for Democrats and Republicans citing budget concerns.

With funds available for the Star Act and strong non-partisan support, what other potential hurdles could this legislation face?

The issue of potential pushback from the DoD against the Star Act to keep veterans’ retirement funding for other uses in its budget has been raised. Worries loom that some lawmakers are bowing to DoD interests over the welfare of veterans. Frustrated and disabled veterans say they are simply asking for what they have earned. That issue, among others, is likely to influence the voter turnout in the approaching midterm elections.

Since the Star Act’s reintroduction in the 117th Congress on February 24, 2021, in the House, and February 22, 2021, in the Senate, lawmakers have had 600+ days to cosponsor the bill. Lawmakers have until early January 2023 to pass the bill before the next Congress is sworn in. If the Star Act is not passed this session of Congress, then the process would need to start over with re-introducing the bill in the 118th Congress.

The Star Act Prepares for the Consensus Calendar

As of October 26, the Star Act reached 24 of the 25 required days for it to be placed on the House Consensus Calendar. On October 28, the legislation should have reached the 25-day threshold. The Consensus Calendar offers another option to debate, vote on, and pass the bill. In the 116th Congress, lawmakers created the Consensus Calendar to allow an additional pathway for highly supported legislation to pass when it is held up in its committee(s).

With Veterans Day approaching, the estimated 50,000+ combat-disabled veterans affected by the Star Act could breathe a sigh of relief upon its passage. The legislation would provide greater financial autonomy for veterans and their families by removing the offset they face. Now it’s up to lawmakers whether veterans will receive their earned benefits.

The Star Act, re-introduced in early 2021 in both chambers of Congress, is the #7 most cosponsored piece of legislation in the House. Veteran service organizations, lawmakers, and veterans have steadily advocated for this legislation that would change the quality of life for some of the country’s most severely disabled veterans. Some of these veterans are unable to hold a stable work position due to their combat-related injuries.

However, Congress is only mandated to consider legislation on the Consensus Calendar prior to September 30. For legislation after that date, consideration is voluntary. With midterms quick approaching, passing the Star Act from the Consensus Calendar would be a political litmus test for constituents headed to the voting booths. Lawmakers who haven’t shown public support for the Star Act ahead of the midterms risk potential alienation among veterans and their families.

Who Hasn’t Cosponsored the Major Richard Star Act?

Not every lawmaker has signed on as a cosponsor to this legislation designed to improve the lives of affected veterans. Some lawmakers, like Sen. Duckworth (D-IL), a combat-disabled veteran who has not cosponsored the legislation to avoid any perceived conflict of interest, would support the bill once it receives a floor vote.

As of October 28th, the following lawmakers are not listed as cosponsors of the Star Act:

Representatives Who Haven’t Cosponsored the Star Act


3rd Rogers, Mike – (R)

4th Aderholt, Robert – (R)      

5th Brooks, Mo – (R)

6th Palmer, Gary – (R)


5th Biggs, Andy – (R) 

6th Schweikert, David – (R)


2nd Hill, French – (R)

3rd Womack, Steve – (R)

4th Westerman, Bruce – (R)


1st LaMalfa, Doug – (R)

12th Pelosi, Nancy – (D)

14th Speier, Jackie – (D)

22nd Conway, Connie – (R)

23rd McCarthy, Kevin – (R)

25th Garcia, Mike – (R)

30th Sherman, Brad – (D)

41st Takano, Mark – (D)

43rd Waters, Maxine – (D)


3rd Boebert, Lauren – (R)

4th Buck, Ken – (R)

5th Lamborn, Doug – (R)


7th Murphy, Stephanie – (D)

17th Steube, W. Gregory – (R)

18th Mast, Brian – (R)

19th Donalds, Byron – (R)

23rd Wasserman Schultz, Debbie – (D)

24th Wilson, Frederica – (D)


1st Carter, Buddy – (R)

3rd Ferguson, A. Drew – (R)

8th Scott, Austin – (R)

9th Clyde, Andrew – (R)

11th Loudermilk, Barry – (R)    

12th Allen, Rick – (R)

14th Greene, Marjorie Taylor – (R)


1st Fulcher, Russ – (R)


12th Bost, Mike – (R)

15th Miller, Mary – (R)

16th Kinzinger, Adam – (R)


5th Spartz, Victoria – (R)


1st Hinson, Ashley – (R)


4th Estes, Ron – (R)


1st Comer, James – (R)

2nd Guthrie, S. Brett – (R)

5th Rogers, Harold – (R)


1st Scalise, Steve – (R)

4th Johnson, Mike – (R)

5th Letlow, Julia – (R)


1st Harris, Andy – (R)

5th Hoyer, Steny H. – (D)


4th Auchincloss, Jake – (D)


10th McClain, Lisa C. – (R)


2nd Thompson, Bennie G. – (D)


1st Bush, Cori – (D)   

2nd Wagner, Ann – (R)

6th Graves, Sam – (R)

8th Smith, Jason – (R)


At Large Rosendale, Matt – (R)


3rd Smith, Adrian – (R)

New York

4th Rice, Kathleen – (D)

21st Stefanik, Elise – (R)

23rd Reed, Tom – (R)

North Carolina

5th Foxx, Virginia – (R)

10th McHenry, Patrick T. – (R)

North Dakota

At Large Armstrong, Kelly – (R)


1st Chabot, Steve – (R)

2nd Wenstrup, Brad – (R)

4th Jordan, Jim – (R)

5th Latta, Robert E. – (R)

7th Gibbs, Bob – (R)  

8th Davidson, Warren – (R)

12th Balderson, Troy – (R)

15th Carey, Mike – (R)


2nd Bentz, Cliff – (R)


2nd Boyle, Brendan – (D)

10th Perry, Scott – (R)

11th Smucker, Lloyd – (R)

12th Keller, Fred – (R)

13th Joyce, John – (R)

South Carolina

3rd Duncan, Jeff – (R)

5th Norman, Ralph – (R)

6th Clyburn, James E. – (D)

7th Rice, Tom – (R)

South Dakota

At Large Johnson, Dusty – (R)


2nd Burchett, Tim – (R)

5th Cooper, Jim – (D)

6th Rose, John W. – (R)


2nd Crenshaw, Dan – (R)

8th Brady, Kevin – (R)

9th Green, Al – (D)

13th Jackson, Ronny – (R)         

14th Weber, Randy – (R)

19th Arrington, Jodey – (R)

21st Roy, Chip – (R)

22nd Nehls, Troy – (R)

23rd Gonzales, Tony – (R)

27th Cloud, Michael – (R)

28th Cuellar, Henry – (D)

30th Johnson, Eddie Bernice – (D)

31st Carter, John – (R)

36th Babin, Brian – (R)


3rd Curtis, John R. – (R)

Virgin Islands

Delegate Plaskett, Stacey – (D)


9th Griffith, Morgan – (R)


1st DelBene, Suzan – (D)

7th Jayapal, Pramila – (D)

9th Smith, Adam – (D)

West Virginia

2nd Mooney, Alex – (R)


1st Steil, Bryan – (R)

4th Moore, Gwen – (D)           

5th Fitzgerald, Scott – (R)

6th Grothman, Glenn – (R)

8th Gallagher, Mike – (R)

Senators Who Haven’t Cosponsored the Star Act

Alabama Shelby, Richard C. – (R)

Alabama Tuberville, Tommy – (R)

Arkansas Cotton, Tom – (R)

Connecticut Murphy, Christopher – (D)

Delaware Carper, Thomas R. – (D)

Florida Scott, Rick – (R)

Illinois Duckworth, Tammy – (D)

Indiana Young, Todd – (R)

Indiana Braun, Mike – (R)

Iowa Grassley, Chuck – (R)

Iowa Ernst, Joni – (R)        

Kansas Marshall, Roger – (R)

Kentucky McConnell, Mitch – (R)

Kentucky Paul, Rand – (R)

Louisiana Cassidy, Bill – (R)

Missouri Hawley, Josh – (R)

Nebraska Fischer, Deb – (R)

Nebraska Sasse, Ben – (R)

North Carolina Burr, Richard – (R)  

North Carolina Tillis, Thom – (R)

Oklahoma Inhofe, James M. – (R)

Oklahoma Lankford, James – (R)

Pennsylvania Toomey, Patrick J. – (R)

Rhode Island Reed, Jack – (D)

South Dakota Thune, John – (R)

Tennessee Hagerty, Bill – (R)

Tennessee Blackburn, Marsha – (R)

Utah Lee, Mike – (R)

Utah Romney, Mitt – (R)

Virginia Kaine, Tim – (D)

Wisconsin Johnson, Ron – (R)

Wyoming Lummis, Cynthia – (R)

Edited by: Kelson Jennings

Feature Image: Mike Tolliver, Unsplash

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