FLEET RESERVE ASSOCIATION
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"Latest Update from National Headquarters"
Earlier this year, the House passed its version of the FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA-H.R.4350). The Senate has been unable to reach agreement to vote on the NDAA. The House and Senate staff worked to create a new NDAA. The bipartisan leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees released a new NDAA (S.1605), following days of compromise negotiations that had resulted from the Senate's failure to pass its own version through the upper chamber. The new bill passed the House (363-70) and is pending in the Senate. The new FY2022 NDAA provides the following:
- No new TRICARE fee increases.
- Prohibits drastic cuts to Defense medical staff for one-year.
- Provides annual active duty pay increase (2.7 percent) that keeps pace with civilian pay.
- Eliminates provision in an earlier version to require women to register with Select Service System;
- Removes sexual assault investigations from the chain of command.
- Requires DFAS to provide 90-day notice of suspension of retirement and annuitant benefits with explanation for suspension.
- Requires DoD to test for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at U.S. bases that have had PFAS releases.
- Provides a new basic needs allowance to ensure service members do not suffer from food insecurity.
- Permits Defense and Veteran Affairs departments to share medical facilities; and
- Requires an independent review of the DoD suicide prevention program.
The bill is expected to pass the Senate no later than next week and be signed into law by President Biden. FRA is grateful for many of the above referenced provisions but is disappointed several critical issues such as concurrent receipt expansion, were not addressed in the final bill.
Agreement on Debt Ceiling
Republicans and democrats have reportedly come to an agreement regarding the U.S. Government's debt ceiling (S.610), which also includes delaying a 10 percent Medicare reimbursement cut for doctors and hospitals until 2023, scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2022. Effective Aug. 1, 2021, the two-year suspension of the U.S. government debt limit ended. The Treasury Department was doing "extraordinary measures" to pay the government's expenses that would likely be exhausted by Dec. 15, while lawmakers worked to address the cap. The debt limit restricts how much the federal government can borrow to finance its existing obligations.
Passing of Former Senator Bob Dole
The Dole foundation announced the passing of former Senator Bob Dole. Dole was an Army veteran and World War II war hero who was badly injured in battle in Northern Italy. He was elected to Congress and later to the U.S. Senate representing Kansas. He became the Republican Leader in the U.S. Senate and won his party's nominee for president in 1996 and vice president nominee in 1976. He became a spokesman for the "Greatest Generation" of veterans and worked to create the World War II Memorial on the Capitol mall. Earlier in the year, he announced he was battling lung cancer. His remains lied in state at the U.S. Capitol this week. Senator Dole is survived by his second wife Elizabeth and a daughter from his first marriage, Robin.
FRA NP Participates in Pearl Harbor Attack Remembrance
FRA National President James W. Campbell from Branch 40, participated in a ceremony at the USS Arizona Mall Memorial in Tucson, Arizona on Dec. 7, 2021, which was the 80th anniversary of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. The USS Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona pays tribute to those who died on the USS Arizona during or as a result of, the attack. The ship is the final resting place for 1,102 of the ship's 1,177 crew who lost their lives in 1941 - nearly half of the 2,403 service members and civilians who were killed during the attack. In all, 19 Navy ships were damaged or sunk. Other FRA branches around the country also hosted and participated in events to honor the anniversary.
FRAtoday Delivery Delayed
Delivery of you FRAtoday magazine will be delayed until mid-December, because the U.S. Postal Service has slowed delivery of first class and periodical mail. This longer delivery will continue under the new USPS service standards that were announced Oct. 1, 2021 The December issue can be found online.
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