Legislative Update: September 23, 2005
Please take a moment to review this update that contains information that may affect your benefits and entitlements:
- Changes-Additions to NRA Resolutions needed prior to conference – October 6-9 2005
- Other issues of importance
- Write/e-mail Congress
- LegislativeGoals/Issues: The following are NRA Approved Resolutions; please review and make suggestions for any changes or additions not later than 10-3-05, prior to our October 2005 conference.
05-01-2005 First Time Enlistment and Second Term Reenlistment Bonuses – The Naval Reserve Association urges the Congress to support legislation to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude from gross income any enlistment, accession, reenlistment, or retention bonus paid to a member of the Armed Services.
05-02-2005 VA Home Loan for Reserve Component Members – The Naval Reserve Association urges Congress to extend the VA Home Loan for members of the National Guard and Reserve as a permanent program, and adjust the loan fee to align with the veteran VA home loan program.
05-03-2005 Compensation for Employers When Employees Are Called to Active Duty – The Naval Reserve Association supports Congressional action to allow employers tax credits with respect to employees (and self-employed) who participate in the military reserves in the defense of their country on a routine basis.
05-04-2005 Cost-of-Living Adjustment to Military Retired Pay – The Naval Reserve Association urges the Congress to take appropriate action so that the pay of retired military personnel is adjusted annually at a rate equal to one hundred percent of the annual increase in the cost of living as measured by the Economic Performance Index – Retired.
05-05-2005 Recalled Reservist Remaining on Reserve Promotion Lists – The Naval Reserve Association urges Congress to amend 10 USC 115(d) to exclude these and other reserve component officers for the duration of their recall from counting against active duty strength limitations should they be promoted off the Reserve Active Status List (RASL), while under voluntary recall under the provisions of 10 USC 641.
05-06-2005 Relating to Improved Montgomery GI Bill Benefits – The Naval Reserve Association urges Congress to improve the benefits of the Montgomery GI Bills by setting financial support to keep pace with the rising costs of education, and not just the cost of living, and offer an education contribution option to the members of the reserve component similar to active duty.
05-07-2005 Reauthorization of the American Defense Service Medal for Cold War Recognition. The Naval Reserve Association request that the President of the United States amend Executive Order 8808 and eligibility for the American Defense Service Medal to include service in the uniformed services during the Cold War for the period from the end of the Berlin Airlift to the date of the destruction of the Berlin Wall.
05-08-2005 Support of the Naval Sea Cadet Program – The Naval Reserve Association encourages continued fiscal support by Congress to the Naval Sea Cadets.
05-09-2005 Opportunity for Members of the Guard and Reserve to Participate in TRICARE. The Naval Reserve Association strongly recommends that Congress pass legislation that establishes a permanent program that allows access for Guard and Reserve to TRICARE Health programs.
05-10-2005 Rebalancing Active/Reserve Force Structure – The Naval Reserve Association urges Congress to delay the proposed transfer of warfighting capability, hardware and manpower requirements from the Naval Reserve to the active Navy pending the establishment and report of an Independent Commission to conduct and exhaustive and comprehensive review of the vision, roles, mission, capabilities, manning and equipping of the Guard and Reserve forces including the roles of the Guard and Reserve in homeland security.
05-11-2005 Reduce Retirement Age for Guard and Reserve Components. The Naval Reserve Association urges Congress to pass reduced retirement age legislation for Guard and Reserve Components members in the Fiscal Year 2006 NDAA.
05-12-2005 Maintaining Reserve Skills Sets in the Naval Reserve Force. The Naval Reserve Association urges Congress to maintain current manpower force in the Naval Reserve Force, and cease manpower losses until (or, in order to study) skills sets for current and future readiness, and surge capabilities are defined.
05-13-2005 Regeneration and Reconstitution of the Naval Reserve Component. The Naval Reserve Association urges Congress to provide for increased equipment for the Naval Reserve Force through the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account, and designate equipment for the use by Reserve forces.
05-14-2005 Retiree and VA Benefits. The Naval Reserve Association urges Congress to protect entitlements for service members, retirees, and Veterans, and closely monitor any attempt to degrade benefits. Additionally, we urge Congress to properly fund VA health care.
05-15-2005 Guard and Reserve Family Issues and Family Support. The Naval Reserve Association urges Congress to implement and oversee through GAO innovative ways to meet RC community needs for child care, family readiness programs, and health care through web-based programs and family assistance programs.
05-16-2005 Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) for the Reserve Components. The Naval Reserve Association strongly urges Congress to clarify RC Advanced JPME through sense of Congress, to allow blended courses to satisfy Phase 2 requirements for RC members.
2. Additional Legislative issues:
- FY 06 Senate Authorization bill and Appropriations Bill are still pending – act now, on the issues that are of concern to you.
- b. BRAC Recommendations. The President has endorsed the work of the BRAC Commission and sent it to Congress where it is sure to pass. Why? There seems to be a correlation between the states that were not seriously impacted by closures and the states from which the Chair, Ranking members, & members on the SASC, SAC-D, HASC, & HAC-D are from. Alaska, Michigan, West Virginia, Virginia, New Mexico, Maine, South Dakota, Massachusetts, and Connecticut – got what they wanted. It is a political world after all!
- c. Commission on Guard and Reserve. Finally all members are in place – and the first meeting is likely in November 2005! If drilling, how do you view your future? Would you be concerned, or would it impact your participation, if you were to be recalled to active duty for a year every five years? You must let your opinions on key issues be known. This Commission can set the policy for future years on Guard and Reserve.
- d. Hope at Home ACT – HR 838. This bill would allow employers a credit against income tax for members of the National Guard and Reserve. The legislation also would allow a comparable credit for participating self-employed individuals. Increased full-time responsibility for call up and added training demands are placing pressures on some reservists to reconsider their commitment to voluntary service. Incentives are needed to offer employers tangible support for the inconveniences often associated with having Reserve and Guard employees.
- e. Eligibility to purchase TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) coverage deadline approaches. Eligibility is determined by the Reserve Component member's Service/Reserve Component office. To qualify, members must have served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001, for 90 consecutive days or more in support of a contingency operation and enter into an agreement with their Reserve Component to serve in the Selected Reserve for one or more years prior to leaving active duty. For Reserve Component members who are eligible and have already left active duty, they have until October 28, 2005, to complete their service agreement. Details about completing Service agreements and enrollment process for TRS are available on the TRICARE Web site at . Links to important TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) information: Am I Eligible?
- f. Defense Advisory Committee on Military Compensation (DACMC). This committee is considering changes or improvements to the military compensation system. You have to pay attention to this committee. It is looking at all military compensation. How would you feel if instead of four drills each month you received a days pay for a days drill? Please see the following site for testimony delivered to the DACMC.
- E-mail or write your opinions on these issues to your Senators and Congressman, IF they do not hear from you they assume you have no issue with what they decide!
- For your Senators, then select your state.Each Senator has a link to send them an e-mail, this is the most effective way to contact them at this time.
- For your House of Representative members: then put in your zip code, and the link will take you to correct site.
See the below list of Congressional Members & Professional Staff Members that work the issues important to you, and do not forget to contact the Appropriations committees
Senate Armed Services: Senate Appropriations - Defense
Chair: John Warner Chair: Ted Stevens
SR 228 Russell SD-119 Dirksen
Washington, DC 20510-0650 Washington, DC 20510
Ranking Member: Carl Levin Ranking Member: Daniel Inouye
SR 228 Russell SD-119 Dirksen
Washington, DC 20510-0650 Washington, DC 20510
House Armed Services Committee House Armed Service – Military Personnel
Chair: Duncan Hunter (CA) Chair: John McHugh (NY)
Ranking Member: Ike Skelton (MO) Ranking Member: Vic Synder (AR)
2120 Rayburn House Office Building 2120 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515 Washington, DC 20515
Feel free to forward this e-mail. For those of you who receive this and you are not already a member, please consider joining the Naval Reserve Association. Check us out at: www.ausn.org or call on our toll free number 866-672-4968.