Dependent Pension Act

Providing for the needs of Union war veterans was one of the great issues of the day. Cleveland had incurred the voters' wrath by vetoing a major pension bill in 1887. Congress, with considerable encouragement from the G.A.R., passed a measure in 1890 that provided pension assistance for all disabled (those unable to do manual labor) former Union soldiers. Benefits were also expanded to veterans' parents, widows and children.

The implementation of these programs was cheered by the recipients, but played a major role in the shrinkage of the surplus, which had been accumulating from tariff receipts.

The Congress which met from 1889 to 1891 was dubbed the "Billion Dollar Congress" because of its lavish spending; internal improvements, naval building and pensions were prime recipients of this largesse.

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Valley of the Shadow - Veterans Records
It was conducted in response to the 1890 Dependent Pension Act, which expanded the current pension system to serve all veterans of the Civil War. (Previously, the system only covered those veterans who had suffered a war-related injury.) The ...

Civil War Pensions
... 1890 the most notable revision in the Federal pension law occurred: the Dependent Pension Act. A result of the intense lobbying effort of the veterans' organization, the Grand Army of the Republic, this statute removed the link between ...

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