VIP Act Passes the House

07/30/2021 11:47 AM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

Yesterday the Veterans in Parks (VIP) Act (H.R. 4300), bipartisan legislation backed by ACRA and many other organizations, passed the House in a unanimous vote.  The legislation would provide free passes to national parks and other federal lands to active servicemembers, veterans and Gold Star Families so they can freely enjoy national parks and public lands.

The bill will now be taken up by the Senate. Stay tuned to the ACRAsphere for more information!

Bill Background:

The America the Beautiful Pass provides access to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks, national forests, and wildlife refuges. This includes some of our most iconic treasures, ranging from Grand Canyon National Park to the awe-inspiring Redwood National Forest.

Although we can never repay the debt we owe to our servicemembers and veterans, the VIP Act would allow them, along with Gold Star Family members, to visit our national parks and public lands free of charge. In 2020, the America the Beautiful annual pass became free for veterans and Gold Star Families. However, this change for veterans has never been codified and could be undone in future years. The VIP Act protects these passes by codifying them and making them lifetime passes instead of annual passes. The VIP Act also creates annual passes for current service members, which can be converted into lifetime passes once they leave the military. At markup, an amendment was adopted to change the short title of the bill to honor Alexander Lofgren, a military and veterans liaison who worked for U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva through the Wounded Warrior Fellowship program. Alexander tragically passed away earlier this year.

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