Congressman Adam Smith made the following statement praising the inclusion of a provision in the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act to provide relief for military surviving spouses. The bill passed the House today by a vote of 307-97 and is expected to be signed into law by the President.

Congressman Smith supported legislation today that grants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate the advertising, marketing, and manufacturing of tobacco products. Tobacco related deaths are the leading cause of preventable death in America.

The bill also includes a provision to increase monthly payments made to surviving military spouses under the Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA). Specifically, the bill will increase SSIA payments to $150 per month in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, $200 per month in FY2015, $275 per month in FY2016, and $310 per month in FY2017. SSIA was first established to provide relief to surviving spouses who are subject to the mandatory deduction of Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) from Survivor Benefit Program (SBP) annuities.

"While I will continue to work towards the full repeal of the mandatory SBP-DIC offset, and am a cosponsor of legislation that would do just that, this is a positive step to provide relief to surviving spouses of those who served in the Armed Forces," Smith said