The Budget Mess STILL Threatens Servicemember Pay. Ask Congress to Act

The Budget Mess STILL Threatens Servicemember Pay. Ask Congress to Act
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Another short-term spending deal – the third since the end of the last fiscal year – should keep the government open into March, again extending lawmakers’ frequently missed deadline to pass a full budget.

 

MOAA has continued its work to push Congress toward full funding – work supported by more than 10,000 messages to House members and senators via our Legislative Action Center.

 

[TAKE ACTION: Ask Your Lawmakers to Pass a Budget]

 

While we remain focused on eliminating the waste and budget uncertainty caused by these continuing resolutions, there’s an even greater uncertainty faced by those in uniform: Should these resolutions ever fail, resulting in a federal funding lapse, servicemembers would need to stay on the job without pay until lawmakers resolved the situation.

 

During past budget battles, lawmakers secured funds to prevent this very situation – either via an already-passed defense appropriations bill or special legislation designed to protect servicemembers’ bank accounts. Such protections aren’t in place this time around, but as brinkmanship continues on Capitol Hill, it’s time for lawmakers to provide reassurance that they will, in fact, support our troops.

 

[TAKE ACTION: Urge Your Elected Officials to Pay Servicemembers During a Shutdown]

 

MOAA’s work on this issue takes place on multiple fronts. First, we’ve worked with Congress to introduce the Pay Our Troops Act (H.R. 5641) and the Pay Our Military Act (H.R. 5667/S. 2835), legislation which would not only secure the pay of those serving under DoD, but also members of the Coast Guard – an important expansion of previous legislation.

 

We’re also working to expand the protections further, to cover all in uniform – including members of the U.S. Public Health Service and NOAA.

 

What About Retirees?

Retired DoD and Coast Guard servicemembers are paid via the DoD Military Retirement Fund (MRF). This fund, and its payments, would remain active during any federal funding lapse.

 

However, USPHS and NOAA retirees are not afforded this same protection – one that only extended to Coast Guard personnel after the passage of the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. This oversight is another example of Congress’s failure to address the financial needs of all who serve … and to pass a full budget that would remove these threats from servicemembers’ and retirees’ radar.

 

How You Can Help

MOAA extends its appreciation to the thousands of grassroots supporters – members, spouses, and so many others – who’ve used the Legislative Action Center links above to weigh in on this issue. If you’ve already sent a message, consider the following additional ways to help make a difference:

  • Spread the Word: Share the above links, and/or the main MOAA Legislative Action Center website (MOAA.org/TakeAction), with your friends, family members, or social network. You do not have to be a member of MOAA to use the action center.
  • Make a Call: Dial 866-272-MOAA (6622), a toll-free line to the U.S. Capitol switchboard, to connect with your lawmakers’ offices. For maximum effectiveness, ask to speak with a military legislative assistant.
  • Go Next-Level: Learn more about advocacy tips from MOAA at this link.

 

Keep up with the latest on the ongoing budget debate, as well as other issues affecting service-earned benefits of those in uniform, past and present, at MOAA’s Advocacy News page.

 

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About the Author

Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and MOAA.org. Follow him on Twitter: @KRLilley