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U.S. Congressman Scott DesJarlais

Representing the 4th District of Tennessee


Jan 13, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On February 11, 2011, Lance Corporal Andrew Carpenter from Columbia, Tennessee, lost his life serving his country in Afghanistan. Three years prior to his tour of duty, Andrew took out a private student loan. Although the company ultimately forgave his loan, the Carpenter Family was shocked to receive a tax bill from the Internal Revenue Service, informing them their gross taxable income that year would include their son’s discharged student debt.

            Yesterday, Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., introduced the Tax Relief for Our Nation’s Heroes Act (H.R. 500). The bill would exempt student loan forgiveness from gross taxable income for families of U.S. veterans who lost their lives while on active duty, and for those with 100% service-connected disability. “The Tax Relief for our Nation’s Heroes Act is the least we could do for disabled vets and families of those who lost their lives in the line of duty,” said Rep. DesJarlais (TN-04). “This bill in honor of Andrew Carpenter passed the House of Representatives in the 112th Congress and maintains broad, bipartisan support.”

            “If we can agree to forgive our fallen heroes’ student loans, we can certainly agree to remove minor related taxes,” he said. A new member of the House Armed Services Committee, the Congressman also voted for a defense authorization that raised soldiers’ pay, as well as improved training and equipment, after a series of budget reductions under President Obama. Last year’s defense authorization included Rep. DesJarlais’ proposal to allow military members to carry firearms on base, which he described as a common-sense response to terrorist attacks on unarmed soldiers in Tennessee and Texas.  

            "The addition of Congressman Scott DesJarlais to the House Armed Services Committee is a positive step forward in the re-evaluation of America's military,” said Major General Terry M. "Max" Haston, Adjutant General of the Tennessee National Guard, this week.

           “Congress' first responsibility is the defense of our nation, and Congressman  DesJarlais has demonstrated his commitment to that responsibility by his sponsorship of bills enhancing safety at military installations, supporting the rights of retired military members and increasing awareness of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.  He is always a great supporter of the Tennessee National Guard and the Military Department, and we are pleased that this appointment will allow him to continue his efforts to support, rebuild and reform America's military."