As Budget and NDAA Deadlines Near, You Can Still Make Your Voice Heard

As Budget and NDAA Deadlines Near, You Can Still Make Your Voice Heard
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As winter weather begins to roll into the National Capital Region (NCR), deadlines loom on two legislative fronts for FY 2021: The overall budget and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).


On Dec. 18, a weeklong continuing resolution that’s keeping the government open will expire. Negotiations continue on budget caps, pandemic relief, and the border wall, among other topics; these are expected to result in a $1.4 trillion spending package.  


In addition, the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is pending signature from President Donald Trump, who has until Dec. 23 to review the $731.6 billion authorization and its 4,517 pages. The Senate delivered the signed NDAA to the White House on Dec. 11; it includes many hard-fought, MOAA-supported provisions to benefit our military and veteran communities.


While both chambers passed NDAA with veto-proof majorities, the president has threatened to veto the measure – a threat confirmed by the president’s press secretary as late as Dec. 15.  Even though the NDAA passed with veto-proof majorities, a veto would force both chambers to delay holiday plans and remain in the NCR for an override vote.    


[TAKE ACTION: Ask the President to Sign the NDAA]


On Dec. 7, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) leadership weighed in on the threat of a NDAA veto and importance of authorizing pay for servicemembers.  


“If the president vetoes it, we will come back to vote to override,” said Rep. Adam Smith, (D-Wash), HASC chairman.  


Ranking member Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), agreed: “We would be rightly and fairly criticized when we can’t come back to deal with military pay – troops should not be ‘punished’ because politicians failed to enact the legislation.”


Make Your Voice Heard

As the deadline approaches, a phone call to your representatives can make an impact. Urge your House and Senate lawmakers to pass the omnibus budget bill; you can contact them via MOAA’s toll-free Capitol Switchboard at 1-866-272-6622.


You can also ask the president to sign the NDAA in support of our servicemembers, retirees, survivors, and their families by clicking this link, which thousands of MOAA members and others have used to send messages backing passage of the NDAA.  


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About the Author

Lt. Col. Mark Belinsky, USA (Ret)
Lt. Col. Mark Belinsky, USA (Ret)

Belinsky retired in 2019 after serving 22 years, with overseas tours to Afghanistan, Iraq, the Republic of Korea, and Germany. He joined the MOAA team in 2019 as Director, Currently Serving and Retired Affairs.