NGAUS Legislative Alert; 30 March 2017

NGAUS strongly supports S. 697 and H.R. 1687, the Tax Relief for Guard and Reserve Training Act.  S. 697 was introduced in the Senate by Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Tom Udall (D-NM), as well as in the House as H.R. 1687 by Representative Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), on March 22nd.

This legislation would increase the maximum reimbursement amount authorized for travel expenses incurred by members of the Reserve Component to attend training outside of normal commuting distances.  Specifically, it would modify existing law by allowing Guardsmen or Reservists to deduct from their adjusted gross income mileage, meal, and lodging expenses incurred while traveling to/from their duty location farther than 50 miles.

The passage of this important bill will provide Guardsmen and Reservists the same tax treatment offered to other federal employees for their commutes and ensure they are not unduly penalized while serving their country.  Thank you, as always, for your continued support of our Armed Forces.

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Matt Pincus
(202) 408-5897
matt.pincus@ngaus.org

Take action: Click here

EANGUS Call to Action; 2017-02

EANGUS Call To Action 2017-02

Representative Scott Peters (D-CA) introduced H.R. 1379 to amend Title 38 United States Code to provide for the entitlement to educational assistance under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs for members of the Armed Forces awarded the Purple Heart. H.R. 1379 extends benefits under the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program to all honorably discharged, Purple Heart recipients regardless of duration of service. Currently, Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits are only available if a veteran completes at least 36 months of active duty service or is medically retired; however, some Purple Heart recipients are honorably discharged before either of those qualifications are attained, making them ineligible for full payments. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that each year, between 1,200 and 1,500 Purple Heart recipients are unable to receive full educational benefits because of the 36-month active duty service requirement. A large number of those individuals deployed with the Guard and Reserves. This bill would allow Purple Heart recipients to access the benefits they earned. Please contact your Member of Congress and request they support H.R. 1379.

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EANGUS Legislative Call To Action: 10 March 2017

H.R. 1384 “Reserve Component Benefits Parity Act of 2017″
Take Action: EANGUS Call To Action 2017-01
The House of Representatives’ National Guard and Reserve Caucus Co-Chairs, Representative Steven Palazzo (R-MS) and Representative Tim Walz (D-MN) introduced H.R. 1384 “Reserve Component Benefits Parity Act of 2017″ to fix the disparity created by the 12304b duty status.

Current Law

12304b mobilization authority was established in the 2012 NDAA to allow DOD to deploy reserve forces for preplanned missions in support of combatant commanders. However, 12304b created a benefit disparity among the components. Reserve forces are compelled to leave behind family, friends, careers, and education pursuits to provide: life-saving humanitarian aid across the globe, security forces and logistical support in Sinai, Kosovo, Eastern Europe, and around the world. Unlike the active component, reserve forces are not provided: pre- and post-mobilization TRICARE; Post-9/11 Montgomery GI Bill Benefits; reduction in retirement age; credit for time spent deployed.

If passed by Congress and signed by the President, H.R. 1384 would provide:

Pre- and post-mobilization TRICARE to service members and their families; Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility to support personal and professional development; and greater predictability for operational deployments in order to protect time with families.

The EANGUS National Office requests that members please take a few minutes out of your day to message your delegation in Washington, D.C. to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 1384, and support the bill should it come to the floor.

EANGUS Call To Action 2017-01

Thank you for your support!!!

NGAUS Legislative Alert; 8 March 2017

Please contact your Members of Congress and urge them to co-sponsor and support H.R. 1384.

NGAUS strongly supports H.R. 1384, the Reserve Component Benefits Parity Act, introduced on March 8th by Representatives Steven Palazzo of Mississippi’s 4th District, Tim Walz of Minnesota’s 1st District, Trent Franks of Arizona’s 8th District, and Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire’s 1st District.

The legislation will eliminate the benefits disparity created by the 12304b mobilization authority, which was created in 2012 to allow the Department of Defense (DoD) to deploy reserve forces for pre-planned missions in support of combatant commanders.  However, unlike the active component, those reserve forces are not provided pre- and post-mobilization TRICARE, post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits, reduction in retirement age, and credit for time spent while deployed.

The Reserve Component Benefits Parity Act will provide:

  • Pre- and post-mobilization TRICARE to service members and their families.
  • Post-9/11 G.I. Bill eligibility to support personal and professional development.
  • Greater predictability for operational deployments in order to protect time with families.

NGAUS Point of Contact:

Matt Pincus
(202) 408-5897
matt.pincus@ngaus.org

Take action: Click here

NGAUS Alert; 1 March 2017

Please contact your Senators and urge them to co-sponsor and support S. 473.

“NGAUS applauds the introduction of the Educational Development for Troops and Veterans Act, which would provide numerous protections and opportunities for our members,” said the NGAUS President, MG (Ret) Gus Hargett.  “We appreciate Senator Tester’s efforts to correct the benefit disparity for members of the National Guard who mobilize for pre-planned missions across the globe. This important bill will help ensure the men and women of the National Guard accrue Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits in the same manner as their active-duty brothers and sisters. This is not just a benefit-parity issue; it is a question of fairness.”

  1. 473, the Educational Development for Troops and Veterans Act was introduced on March 1st by Senators Jon Tester of Montana, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken of Minnesota, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire.

This legislation will:

  1. Provide protections and benefits for members of the National Guard and Reserve who deploy by ensuring they receive the same G.I. Bill education benefits as their active duty counterparts for time deployed overseas.
  2. Allow service members to defer student loan payments during training for an upcoming deployment.  Service members train for months before a deployment, often have to relocate to do so, and shouldn’t face financial hardship due to their student loan payments while serving our country.
  3. Establish a grant program to build, maintain, and improve college veteran education centers to help student veterans maximize their benefits, receive academic aid, and connect with their peers on campus.
  4. Keep tuition assistance for members of the National Guard and Reserve competitive; G.I. Bill tuition assistance for Guardsmen and Reservists should not continue to lose value.
  5. Protect Reservists’ monthly housing allowance during training by correcting a discrepancy that denies Reservists who train on active duty status from receiving the full housing allowance to which they should be entitled, with many who are students that greatly rely on the allowance to further their education.

Passing this bill will help ensure the men and women of the National Guard accrue Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits in the same manner as their active duty counterparts and will further support the soldiers who protect our nation.  Thank you, as always, for your continued support of our veterans and Armed Forces.

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Matt Pincus
(202) 408-5897
matt.pincus@ngaus.org

Take Action: Click here