Miller-Meeks' Veterans in Parks Act Unanimously Passes House
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, July 29th, 2021, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ (IA-02) Alexander Lofgren Veterans in Parks (VIP) Act unanimously passed the House of Representatives. This legislation would give veterans and Gold Star families free lifetime access to national parks and public federal lands and give active-duty military free annual passes.
“I am thrilled to see my bipartisan Alexander Lofgren VIP Act overwhelmingly pass the House today. We often say that we support the physical and mental health of our veterans, and it is great to see legislation pass that will do great things for the health of our heroes,” said Miller-Meeks. “Giving our veterans and Gold Star families free lifetime access to our incredible national parks will do wonders. I was proud to partner with a fellow veteran, Congressman Gallego, on this legislation and look forward to working to see this bill reach the President’s desk.”
To read the full text of the legislation, click HERE.
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 the country's most iconic natural treasures, ranging from Acadia National Park to the Redwood National Forest.
The Alexander Lofgren Veterans in Parks (VIP) Act would allow all veterans, active-duty servicemembers, and Gold Star Families to visit all 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 put into law and could be undone in future years.
The Alexander Lofgren Veterans in Parks (VIP) Act protects these passes by codifying them and making them lifetime passes instead of annual passes. Finally, the VIP Act also creates annual passes for current servicemembers, which can be converted into lifetime passes once they leave the military.