The Budget Battle: It Ain't Over

Fat Lady Lego Singing

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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The revised bill must then be voted on again by each house of Congress.
  5. 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!

 

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Comment: We served so our country could remain free. Our sons and daughters gave up their parents so our country could remain free. Its time for you to do the job you were elected to do so we all can remain free.But you also need to take care of us because we are the ones who ensured you remain free.
Submitted by: Connie on March 25, 2014
Comment: Military personal past and present should not have benefits diminished because of lack of prior budgeting by elected officials. If there are service members that are eligible to receive state assistance than their pay or benefits is not enough. And I am talking about an E-4 with 1 child that would qualify for food stamps. If minimum wage is increased will our military see a pay raise as well? I think it is pure ignorance for anyone to put a price on courage when so many of us have chosen not defend our country!
Submitted by: WorriedSpouse on March 13, 2014
Comment: This isn't going to solve the issue. Taking things away from out military members isn't going to help them focus on the job they need to do when they are worried about their families back home. This may change make a slight change in the immediate but it won't solve the problem and will only create more in the process. Please re-think what your doing.
Submitted by: MI.RN on March 5, 2014
Comment: These benefits were supposed to be guaranteed to us. We did a job that most of the public shied from. To close our bases, take away our benefits, put us in categories to rate our need for benefits is NOT what we signed up for. You don't want to support Veterans? Then send your own kids to war! Stop putting us into other countries problems!!
Submitted by: Kat on March 3, 2014
Comment: If we are going to make cuts to military personnel and their pay and benefits, it would seem wise to not make threats to other countries about their military actions...we aren't going to have the military might to back up our threats!
Submitted by: Nancy on March 3, 2014
Comment: People who serve/served in the military are and have paid a price that 99% of the rest of Americans have not paid. They gave up their personal freedoms, many of their rights of common citizenship, their family lives, safety, and comfort. They shoulder the burden of war, and the stresses of preparing for war. To ask any more from them, in particular to give up pay, benefits, and other earned compensation is shameful. They did not create the budget crisis, why are they being asked to sacrifice in this way, when they've already paid above and beyond up front? This current fiasco is a failure of government to produce, and then live within a budget. Congress, do your job, and pay your just debts - including those you owe to the 1% who serve well above and beyond what the 99% of the rest of America is willing to. Fix this, and fix it quickly, because the other piece of this mess that you are adding to, is the morale of the very people you depend on to be there for all of us. They do not need to be worrying about what YOU are doing to them in addition to their daily stresses. Stand up, be counted, and fix YOUR mess.
Submitted by: Sailor Dave on March 3, 2014
Comment: Why is it even on the table to balance the budget off of the sacrifices of our military? There are so many places where cuts should be made, but this is the absolute wrong place. As the grandaughter, daughter, niece, wife, sister and stepmother of servicemembers, I can attest to the fact that our troops sacrifice many creature comforts and invaluable time with their loved ones already. Many of these benefits that are being considered for cuts are the little pieces that make those sacrifices worth it. You promised these warriors their benefits, so man up and keep your word.
Submitted by: Zanna on March 3, 2014
Comment: It is ridiculous to think that Congress is not only going to cut benefits for active duty and retires but across the board personnel cuts too. I'm heartbroken for all of the military families who kept their promise and served this great country VOLUNTARILY because they felt a call to duty. We are the world peace keepers, like it or not, and all military families deserve to have Congress keep their promise...because the military families kept their promise to the American people, some with the ultimate sacrifice, their lives. Don't balance the budget on the backs of the brave.
Submitted by: LSA on March 3, 2014

 

 


 

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