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Partisan politics often clouds the rare moments when Congress passes bipartisan legislation. President Trump recently signed into law a bill that earmarked $25 million for research on veteran suicides by firearm, which make up the majority of deaths in the veteran suicide epidemic. The president and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle landed a huge victory for Iowa’s veterans and families.

The recently passed research funds were a big leap in the right direction, but Congress went 20 years without this critical data that would have helped prevent veteran suicides. Long-term funding for research is needed to make up for lost time and to ensure that policymakers are receiving complete information on the true causes behind firearm-related veteran suicides.

Our own Senator Joni Ernst has not only been a strong advocate of Iowa’s veterans, but served in the military herself. She understands how important this research is, and I’m grateful that Senator Ernst voted in favor of funding it. Her support for long-term research into veteran suicides by firearm can help protect our veteran community.

Author: Althea Cole