WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler plans to introduce the Hotels For Heroes Act to require hotels and lodging establishments to waive any minimum age requirement for U.S. soldiers to stay there.
The individual must be a current member of the United States military and be under military orders or authorized military leave in order for the age requirement to be waived.
Hartzler told The Heartlander she has been contacted by military parents in her district who have had children on military leave traveling home to visit, but could not acquire a hotel room along the way because they were younger than 21 years old.
The congresswoman said some hotels will allow younger military members, but knowing which hotels do usually cannot be predicted. Hartzler said she has heard many stories about active military members having to sleep on the side of the road or having to drive all night long due to having no place to stay.
“That doesn’t make sense,” Hartzler said. “They are our heroes. They are willing to give their life for our country. That’s why I’ve introduced this bill called ‘Hotels For Heroes Act’. It requires a public lodging establishment to waive any minimum age requirement for a member of the armed forces who present a valid military ID and seeks to obtain lodging while under military orders or authorized military leave.”
Hartzler was relieved after she brought the bill forward because since that time, she said, many other military parents have shared similar stories of their children’s unfavorable travel experiences while on duty. Hartzler said she has also talked with members of The Hotel Association and has garnered their support for the measure.
According to Hartzler, she plans to introduce the bill as an amendment to The National Defense Authorization Act because the armed services does not pass individual bills. Congress passes legislation every year through the Armed Forces Committee which includes all aspects of the military-related policy.
“The reason I am introducing this now is to get the discussion going, to garner the support for it so when I introduce my bill as an amendment to The National Defense Authorization Act, people will have already heard about it and they will support it,” she said. “Hopefully it will pass as part of that larger piece of legislation later this year.”
The congresswoman says that she believes the bill will be passed before the end of 2022 and that it is a bipartisan act between herself and top Democratic co-sponsor Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ).
Those interested in learning more about H.R. 7109 can see more details here.