Testifying Before Congress: Military Families Deserve Better than Jell-O on a Wall
From lower pay raises and BAH to commissary cuts and less medical coverage… it feels like everything military families were promised is on the table. Today our Association had the opportunity to tell the military family story to the Personnel Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC). We sat on a panel alongside our colleagues from The Military Coalition (TMC) to say this: there has to be a better way.
One TMC member described the piecemeal DoD cuts as “throwing Jell-O on a wall.” We had just four minutes to explain our stance, which focused on family programs, protecting the commissary benefit, and disparities in survivor benefits. The written testimony we submitted (all 30+ pages of it) covers much more than that—ending sequestration, caring for our wounded families, and issues impacting military kids’ education.
Senator Kirstin Gillibrand, Chairman of the Committee, made her feelings on the budget known. “It’s not just a number,” she said. “It’s a consequence to real people that sacrifice every day for this country.” She also hit on something our Association has been trying to understand:
Why not wait for the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission to finish its work? Without waiting for the Commission’s findings, Congress only has half the story.
“The Senators on the Committee have a lot of questions,” said our Association’s Government Relations Director Kathy Moakler. “They’re not just going to rubber stamp the budget proposal. They want to see the whys and the hows.”
Senator Lindsey Graham asked his fellow Senators and Congressmen to “make structural changes that don’t affect quality of life. We can find the shortfall somewhere else.”
And that’s what we want too! But we need your help in proving how the budget proposals truly impact military families.
Please tell us:
- What do Commissaries mean to you and your family’s budget?
- What kind of a hit would your family take if BAH were lower?
- How often do you seek medical care not available through an MTF?
Tell us in the comments below, or email us at GovernmentRelations@militaryfamily.org.
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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