Since his election to the Senate in a special election held on December 12, 2017, Senator Doug Jones has brought his lifelong passion for justice and commitment to service to his role in the United States Senate. He understands that public service is a privilege that comes with the responsibility of making the country better for all Americans, regardless of their backgrounds or political views.
First elected in 1996, Senator Collins has earned a national reputation as an effective legislator who works across party lines to seek consensus on our nation’s most important issues. For the past six consecutive years, Senator Collins has ranked as the most bipartisan member of the U.S. Senate by the Lugar Center and Georgetown University. Her record demonstrates significant legislative accomplishments in such critical areas as homeland security, national defense, disaster response, education, business development, health care, and issues of particular interest to our nation’s seniors.
On December 19, 2019 Senator Jones and Senator Collins announced the inclusion of their bipartisan Military Widow’s Tax Elimination Act in the final annual defense bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It marked a significant step in the 18-year effort to pass legislation to repeal the law that penalizes our nation’s Gold Star families by preventing them from receiving the full survivor benefits they have earned and paid for.
Under Senator Jones’ leadership, the bill earned a record-high 78 total cosponsors in the Senate. Since introducing the bill with Republican Senator Susan Collins in March, they have worked tirelessly to garner support among their colleagues in both the Senate and House as well as make the case on behalf of the 67,000 surviving spouses who are impacted by the military widow’s tax. Most recently, Senator Jones led an effort on the Senate floor to call for inclusion of the repeal in the final defense bill. His proposal passed by a vote of 94-0. The NDAA was then signed and approved by President Donal Trump on December 20, 2019, passing the repeal of the Widow’s Tax thanks to the hard work and dedication of both Senator Jones and Collins.