I am so glad to be back in Nebraska for the August work period. I know many Nebraskans are eager to continue our dialogue about health care and I look forward to it. Cap-and-trade will be another hot topic that has huge potential consequences for Nebraska. I also want to make special note of the fact that I'll be meeting with military families while I'm home. It is important to remember that our country is still at war. The fact that this, at times, has been placed at the periphery of our focus is a testament to the tremendous job our servicemen and women are doing.
To ensure our troops are properly recognized for the sacrifices they make, I have co-sponsored several pieces of legislation to improve the quality of life for their families and for when they retire from duty. I am proud to report that the Senate recently passed a bill that will grant military spouses the same privilege currently enjoyed by service members to name a single home location regardless of where they are currently stationed. Currently, when a service member gets ordered to a different base, they are able to keep a single home location for voting and tax purposes, yet their spouses cannot. Well, don't those spouses get relocated too? The Military Spouses Residency Relief Act will grant them the same single home location privilege currently enjoyed by service members.
The Military Family Nutrition Protection Act would protect military families and kids from being cut out of the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program and other child nutrition programs. Often times, a family that is otherwise eligible for such programs earn too much money to qualify once a parent serving in the military receives combat pay. Service members and their families make tremendous sacrifices, and we have an obligation to honor those sacrifices, especially when they are called to active duty. It makes no sense to take away critical programs for their families when they move to the front lines of battle. This legislation honors the dedication of our courageous military men and women by ensuring we care for their spouses and children while they are away.
Finally, I co-sponsored the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, which would improve ballot access for troops and other Americans abroad. Of all citizens, those protecting and promoting our right to vote should be the highest priority when it comes to having their voices heard at the ballot box. This bill would significantly increase the organization and efficiency of the voting process for those overseas.
I am proud to say that the Senate has passed all three pieces of legislation. There is plenty more work to do, though, including for our veterans. I will be hosting a Veterans' Committee hearing in Omaha on August 20, to address the condition of the Omaha VA Medical Center. I believe a new facility is needed. It is important that our veterans and service members know how much they are appreciated even as other major domestic issues dominate the debate.