July 31, 2015
early optimism from lawmakers, Congress was unable to pass a final
defense bill before leaving town for a month long summer recess.
in a stalemate over several key compensation and benefits issues, House
and Senate lawmakers will have to return to the negotiation process in
The following table shows the compensation and benefits positions of the House- and Senate-passed defense bills:
its initial draft, House lawmakers rejected proposals to nickel and
dime servicemembers and their families, but the Senate is pushing to
keep them in the final version of the defense bill.
reported memo to negotiators, House Armed Services Committee Chairman
Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said, “The House believes it must keep faith
with our military retirees and their families and that we should seek to
make other improvements in TRICARE before digging more deeply into the
pockets of our servicemembers and retirees.”
argue that personnel costs are “eating the defense budget alive,” a
tired piece of rhetoric MOAA has repeatedly debunked.
lining to Congress failing to pass the defense bill before the August
recess is that now you have the chance to influence your lawmakers.
elected officials return to their home districts to meet with
constituents during the August recess. Use this opportunity to visit
your elected officials and discuss:
- Preventing the further erosion of pay and benefits;
- Authorizing full concurrent receipt of military retired pay and disability compensation; and
- Eliminating the dollar for dollar offset of military survivor pay and VA indemnity compensation.
MOAA has developed fact sheets on these three issues for you to use. For more information, check out our August recess package.