May 8, 2015
Senate Armed Services Committee begins work on its version of the FY16 defense
bill May 11. Working on an ambitious timeline, the committee hopes to complete the
bill by the end of the week.
work at the subcommittee level will be done in several open sessions, final
negotiations will be held behind closed doors.
known is that the committee intends to move forward with controversial changes
to military retirement. SASC Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) said that the
committee has been working closely with House colleagues on retirement modification
and expects some type of reform this year.
support for changes to military retirement in both chambers, it is likely that
some version of retirement reform will be sent to the president this fall.
yet to be seen is if the SASC will support the White House’s proposed defense
budget – calling for a third year of active duty pay caps, increased costs and
reduced choices for military health care, and cuts to housing allowances and
commissary benefits – or if it will resemble the defense mark passed
last week by the House Armed Services Committee.
the House version of the defense bill rejected many of the proposals from the
White House, but with stricter budget rules in the Senate, anything is
possible. Without finding ways to pay for the measures supported by the House,
the Senate may be forced to accept the administration’s budget-driven
measures will continue to erode the very pay and benefits needed to sustain the
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