NGAUS Legislative Alert #15-23; 24 November 2015

The Issue: Support bill eliminating the age restriction on receipt of retired pay for non-regular service for new recruits

Immediate Action Required: Contact your representatives immediately to co-sponsor H.R. 4124, the Support America’s Armed Forces Reserve Component Retirees Act of 2015 sponsored by Rep. Tim Walz, (D-MN), which eliminates the age restriction on receipt of retired pay for non-regular service for new recruits

More Information: NGAUS strongly supports H.R. 4124, the Support America’s Armed Forces Reserve Component Retirees Act of 2015 sponsored by Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN). This bill would allow retiring members of the National Guard to receive their retirement pay after 20 years of service applying to service members who begin service in the armed forces on or after January 1, 2018.
Unlike the legislation contained in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2016 which would allow members to elect to take a discounted lump sum of the present value of their defined retirement benefit prior to becoming fully eligible for Social Security, this bill would allow reserve component members to collect retirement immediately after 20 years.

Although the costs of this legislation would be higher starting in 2038, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that over time, savings under this bill would be higher than that achieved under the new lump sum program.

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Grace Washbourne
NGAUS Legislative Joint Program Manager
(202)408-5893
grace.washbourne@ngaus.org

Take Action: Click here

 

EANGUS Call to Action #2015-15; 16 November 2015

H.R. 3970

Please contact you Contact your Member of Congress and request that they cosponser and support H.R. 3970, Housing Our Heroes Act. This legislation will help ensure that our veterans have a place to call home while turning neglected properties into houses. On November 5, 2015, Congressmen Steve Israel (D-NY) and Tom Rooney (R-FL) introduced this important initiative to not only assist our veterans, but also to improve the quality of life for some struggling neighborhoods. The legislation would create a three year pilot program to provide grants to Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to purchase and renovate blighted properties- providing a pathway to homeownership for homeless veterans and taking unsightly zombie homes off the market.

Rep. Israel’s press release can be found here. Please contact your Member of Congress and urge them to support this bill.

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EANGUS Call to Action #2015-14; 16 November 2015

S.1203

Please contact your Member of Congress and request support for S. 1203, the 21st Century Veterans Benefits Delivery Act. Specifically, Sec. 701. of the bill will grant honorary veteran status to certain persons who performed service in the reserve components of the Armed Forces.

Members of the National Guard perform an invaluable role as citizen-soldiers and are an important component of our overall force structure. They support the active duty component by responding in times of national emergency, stand ready to be called to active duty service and to deploy to overseas missions in times of need. They also answer the call to serve when natural disasters and states of emergency happen here at home. However, if a Guardsman never serves a qualifying period of 180 continuous days of active duty service, they are not considered veterans under Title 38 of Federal law.

Providing honorary veteran status to Guardsmen who served twenty years in uniform, without 180 continuous days of active duty service, will have no budgetary impact. Please contact your Member of Congress and urge them to support this bill.

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EANGUS Call to Action #2015-13; 16 November 2015

H.R. 2874

EANGUS strongly supports H.R. 2874, the Andrew P. Carpenter Act of 2015, a bill that would exempt student loan forgiveness from being categorized as taxable income for families of veterans who lost their lives while serving our country.

Lance Corporal Andrew P. Carpenter of Columbia, Tennessee lost his life on February 19, 2011, while stationed in Afghanistan. Three years prior to his tour of duty, Andrew took out a private student loan. Although this loan was ultimately forgiven by the loan company, the Carpenter family was shocked to receive a $1,000 tax bill from the Internal Revenue Service informing them that the discharged debt would still be factored into taxable income for that year. This legislation will stop this from happening to families who have lost loved ones in service to our country.

H.R. 2874 would amend the Internal Revenue Code by exempting student loan forgiveness from being categorized as gross taxable income for families of veterans who lost their lives while serving on active duty in the United States Armed Forces. The bill would be retroactive to October 7, 2001.

Please click the link below to contact your representatives and urge them to support this bill.

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NGAUS Legislative Alert #15-22; 11 November 2015

The Issue: Making it easier for retired military medical doctors to work for the Veterans Administration

Immediate Action Required: Ask your senators and representatives to support the Veterans Health Care Staffing Improvement Act of 2015; S. 2279 sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-OR.

More Information: NGAUS strongly supports S. 2279, the Veterans Health Care Staffing Improvement Act of 2015, a bill that would increase efficiency in the recruitment and hiring of health care workers that are undergoing separation from the Armed Forces by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

This legislation would create the “Docs-to-Docs” program and require uniform credentialing standards for certain health care professionals of the Department to make the transition easier.

Harnessing the experience of military trained and experienced health care professionals to care for veterans and providing jobs to those separating from the military is a win win situation. These military health care professionals can continue their service and veterans will have the benefit of being treated by people who understand their military service and sacrifice first hand.

Please contact your Senators and urge them to support this bill.

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Grace Washbourne
NGAUS Legislative Program Manager for Joint Programs
202-408-5893
grace.washbourne@ngaus.org

Take Action: Click here

 

NGAUS Legislative Alert #15-21; 5 November 2015

The Issue: Exempting student loan forgiveness from being categorized as gross taxable income for families of veterans who lost their lives while serving

Immediate Action Required: Ask your representatives to support H.R. 2874, the Andrew P. Carpenter Act of 2015, a bill sponsored by Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-TN.

More Information: NGAUS strongly supports H.R. 2874, the Andrew P. Carpenter Act of 2015, a bill that would exempt student loan forgiveness from being categorized as taxable income for families of veterans who lost their lives while serving our country.
Lance Corporal Andrew P. Carpenter of Columbia, Tennessee lost his life on February 19, 2011, while stationed in Afghanistan. Three years prior to his tour of duty, Andrew took out a private student loan. Although this loan was ultimately forgiven by the loan company, the Carpenter family was shocked to receive a $1,000 tax bill from the Internal Revenue Service informing them that the discharged debt would still be factored into taxable income for that year. This legislation will stop this from happening to families who have lost loved ones in service to our country.

H.R. 2874 would amend the Internal Revenue Code by exempting student loan forgiveness from being categorized as gross taxable income for families of veterans who lost their lives while serving on active duty in the United States Armed Forces. The bill would be retroactive to October 7, 2001.

Please contact your representatives and urge them to support this bill.

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Grace Washbourne
NGAUS Legislative Program Manager for Joint Programs
202-408-5893
grace.washbourne@ngaus.org

Take Action: Click here

 

NGAUS Legislative Alert #15-20; 4 November 2015

The Issue: Stop possible cuts to fiscal 2016 National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account (NGREA) funding

Immediate Action Required: Ask your senators and representative to keep current fiscal 2016 NGREA funding intact

More Information: Please urge your senators and representative to not use NGREA funds as a bill-payer for defense-funding levels in the new budget agreement

The recent budget agreement passed by the House and Senate and signed by president requires a $5 billion reduction in requested fiscal 2016 defense spending. The House and Senate armed services committees have significantly cut NGREA funds as part of this bill-payer.

Lawmakers originally authorized $420 million, but the committees have cut that figure by $170 million. In fiscal 2015, the Army and Air National Guard alone received $830 million in NGREA funds.

Changes to NGREA funding for fiscal 2016 still have to pass the full House and Senate, as well as the House and Senate appropriations committee subcommittees’ on defense as they finalize the defense appropriations act.

NGREA helps cover funding shortfalls for National Guard equipment in the service budgets, which makes it vital to Guard operations both at home and overseas. It is critical to let Congress know how important this funding is to the National Guard.

NGAUS Point of Contact:

Matt Pincus
Air Programs Manager
202-3085897
matt.pincus@ngaus.org

Take action: Click here