The top leaders of the House and Senate veterans’ affairs committees are willing to cut funding for the Veterans Affairs Department in hopes of averting across-the-board cuts in federal spending.
Read more at the Army Times…
Now that you have read the article here is a directory to tell your Congressional Leadership how you feel.
House of Representatives Senate White House
WASHINGTON – After years of debate and months of final preparations, the military can no longer prevent gays from serving openly in its ranks
Some in Congress still oppose the change, but top Pentagon leaders have certified that it will not undermine the military’s ability to recruit or to fight wars.
The Army was distributing a business-as-usual statement Tuesday saying simply, “The law is repealed,” and reminding soldiers to treat each other fairly.
As Washington looks to squeeze savings from once-sacrosanct entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, another big social welfare system is growing as rapidly, but with far less scrutiny: the health and pension benefits of military retirees.
Military pensions and health care for active and retired troops now cost the government about $100 billion a year, representing an expanding portion of both the Pentagon budget — about $700 billion a year, including war costs — and the national debt, which together finance the programs.
Making even incremental reductions to military benefits is typically a doomed political venture, given the public’s broad support for helping troops, the political potency of veterans groups and the fact that significant savings take years to appear.
But the intense push in Congress this year to reduce the debt and the possibility that the Pentagon might have to begin trimming core programs like weapons procurement, research, training and construction have suddenly made retiree benefits vulnerable, military officials and experts say.
MINNEAPOLIS — President Barack Obama committed on Tuesday to taking care of what he called “the 9/11 generation,” vowing to spare Iraq and Afghanistan veterans’ health, education and employment training programs from Washington’s budget ax.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/62324.html#ixzz1WXrkj1Md
Eight years ago, after the capture of Saddam Hussein in a spider hole,TIME Magazine named The American Soldier its “Person of the Year.” It was an iconic cover story that put a face on these wars and played a decisive role in getting Americans to separate personal politics from their treatment of our troops.
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray was at the Amazon campus Wednesday to help promote the company’s programs to hire veterans after they leave the military, but a main focus of her press conference dealt with her budget-slashing committee appointmen tannounced Tuesday.
Military pay raises, funding for veterans health care and the Post-9/11 GI Bill could be sacrificed to new fiscal realities as the result of the deal signed by President Obama on Tuesday to raise the federal debt ceiling, according to the Military Officers Association and veterans groups. The law requires the federal budget be cut $2.1 trillion over 10 years.
Representatives of veterans groups were assured by White House officials Monday that veterans benefits and compensation are safe from across-the-board spending cuts that could be triggered by the debt agreement under consideration.
The 10 ways Congress is targeting military and veterans’ benefits during today’s difficult fiscal times are to:
- Increase healthcare premiums for military retirees on TRICARE
- Increase pharmaceutical fees for troops, families and retirees
- Eliminate presumptive service-connected conditions for disabled and ill veterans
- Lock out or increase fees for Department of Veterans Affairs Priority Groups 7 and 8 veterans
- Reduce cost-of-living allowances
- Freeze military pay
- End government subsidies to military commissaries
- Eliminate Department of Defense elementary schools stateside
- Eliminate the 20-year military retirement plan
- Eliminate DOD tuition reimbursement programs for service members
The nation’s largest organization representing disabled veterans and their families is organizing a “virtual march on Washington” on Facebook to protect veterans’ compensation and benefits from being targeted for cuts in the ongoing debt crisis negotiations.