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"Latest Update from National Headquarters"
July 30 2021
HASC-MP Approves FY2022 NDAA
The House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee marked up its portion of the House version of the FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA-H.R.4350). Key provisions in the subcommittee markup include:
• No new TRICRE fee increases;
• Prohibiting any reduction or realignment of military medical staff at Military Treatment Facilities (MTF);
• Providing an annual active duty pay increase that keeps pace with civilian pay increases (2.7 percent);
• Establishing the Naval Community College as a degree granting institution for enlisted sailors;
• Requiring the Defense Department to pay basic needs allowance to a qualified service member;
• Expanding the in-home childcare pilot program providing financial assistance for in-home childcare;
• Directing DoD to notify survivors of sexual assault about the outcomes of any administrative action taken against their perpetrator; and
• Mandating violations of Civilian Protective Orders are punishable under UCMJ.
The FRA would also like to note that the HASC Readiness Subcommittee markup also contains a provision for DoD to provide a report on Childcare Development Centers (CDC) waiting lists and requires safety inspection for privatized housing and CDCs. The subcommittee markups now go to the full committee for consideration and then will be sent to the full House for further consideration.
The Senate Armed Services Committee approved its version NDAA and sent it to the full Senate earlier. Members can refer to the 7/23/21 NewsBytes for details on that bill. Once both chambers pass their version of the NDAA, a conference committee will be appointed to resolve the differences between the two Defense Authorization bills. The committee will write a final NDAA based on provisions of the two bills. When there is agreement on a final bill, it will be submitted to both the House and Senate for a final vote. If approved by both chambers, it will be sent to the president to be signed into law or be vetoed. The FRA is working to get floor amendments filed on concurrent receipt, and the "Military Retiree Survivor Comfort Act" (H.R.2214, S.1669). Members should go to the Action Center (www.fra.org) to weigh in on these and other issues.
FRA participates in Speaker Pelosi's Veterans Roundtable
DLP John Davis and representatives from several other VSO/MSO associations met with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC) Chairman Mark Takano to discuss various pending legislative issues. This is the first veteran's roundtable with the speaker since November 2019. Davis thanked HVAC Chairman Takano for passing the Agent Orange Blue Water Navy bill in 2019. Davis noted that FRA supports Rep. Sanford Bishops comprehensive concurrent receipt legislation (H.R.333) and the Major Richard Star Act (H.R.1282, S.344). Davis said that retired pay is for years of arduous military service paid by the Department of Defense while disability pay is for lifelong injury paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs. To reduce retirement pay because of a disability is an injustice.
The legislators discussed the past accomplishments from the past session. They noted improvements to suicide prevention programs, VA education programs, programs for women veterans (Debra Sampson Act), and sexual assault programs. Speaker Pelosi noted the efforts to get every veteran vaccinated for COVID-19.
There was extensive discussion of the infrastructure needs of the VA. The HVAC Chairman claimed that the VA needs an infrastructure re-capitalization budget of $100 billion.
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