|For Immediate Release||Contact: Lindsay Jackson|
|June 21, 2006|
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Representative Charles Bass (R-NH) issued the following statement today regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) plans to offer free credit monitoring to the 26.5 million veterans and military troops whose names, birth dates, and social security numbers were taken from a data analyst's home on May 3.
" I applaud the VA for taking this first step in ensuring the identities of our veterans are protected. This plan closely mirrors H .R.5455, of which I am a co-sponsor. H.R. 5455, The Veterans Identity Protection Act would require the VA to reimburse individuals whose personal information may have been compromised for the cost of one year of credit monitoring service. Because these services may not be utilized effectively, I am also co-sponsoring H.R.5520, the Protect Our Veterans from Identity Theft Act, which will set up an independent agency to receive, process, and pay claims for any veteran whose identity has been stolen. No veteran or service member should incur any expense whatsoever due to the gross negligence exhibited by the Veterans Administration. We should be providing them with both as much peace of mind as possible given the circumstances and a speedy avenue of redress should they face any financial consequences."