The Budget Battle: It Ain't Over
We’re mulling over the details of the Department of Defense (DoD) budget proposal for 2015. You’ll remember, we caught a first glimpse of the proposal on February 24th and have been worried ever since. Will we really see limited pay increases, reduced housing allowances, and cuts to commissary funding? Maybe—but not necessarily.
DoD’s proposal is just that – a proposal.
This week, DoD will deliver its detailed budget proposal to Congress. It’s up to them to decide whether any of it becomes law. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives have Armed Services Committees charged with setting policy and crafting legislation that affect the military. They may use the Pentagon’s budget proposal as a starting point, but they usually make changes. For example, in recent years the Pentagon has included a request to conduct another round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), but Congress has repeatedly refused to allow it.
Making sure your voice is heard.
Over the next few months, the Committees will hear testimony from defense experts and military service organizations who will express varying views about what our military needs. That’s where we come in. Our Association will submit written testimony to the Personnel Subcommittees of each Armed Services Committee to make sure Congress is aware of the issues facing military families.
The budget proposal by the Pentagon is just the beginning of a process that will go on for months.
Here’s how it all goes down:
- Each of the two Armed Services Committees – the House and the Senate – will ultimately put forward their own versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
- Each version must be approved by the full House or Senate, and members are free to put forward amendments to the bill, which will also be voted on.
- When each house of Congress has passed its version of the NDAA, a conference committee with members from both sides will meet to resolve any differences in the two bills.
- The revised bill must then be voted on again by each house of Congress.
- After Congress has reached an agreement, the NDAA will go to the President for his signature.
So you see, we have time to turn this around…but we need to work together.
NOW is the time to speak out for your family’s financial future!
Reach out to your Representative or Senator and let them know how the proposed cuts could impact your military family. We all know our Nation is going through tough financial times and may need to tighten the belt, but it is unacceptable to balance the budget on the backs of military families. We’ll be working hard to make sure Congress hears that message, help us amplify that message.
Tell us what you think!
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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