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.

Take Action: Click here

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

NGAUS Legislative Alert #15-19; 29 October 2015

The Issue: Possibility of permanent residence status through military service

Immediate Action Required: Contact your representatives immediately and ask them to support H.R. 3698, the Military Enlistment Opportunity Act of 2015, a bill sponsored by Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo.

More Information: NGAUS strongly supports H.R. 3698, the Military Enlistment Opportunity Act of 2015, legislation that would extend eligibility for military service from citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) to include individuals who meet all other requirements for enlistment, do not have any record of unlawful activities since their arrival in the United States, and have received background checks and work authorization from the Department of Homeland Security.

Keeping recruiting numbers at high levels within the National Guard is more challenging in some states than others. Allowing the children of immigrants to earn citizenship through military service serves a dual purpose: it provides a new group of willing, capable and skilled applicants to serve in the military and at the same time creates an opportunity for individuals who have conditional immigration status the opportunity to become U.S. citizens through military service.

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

Take Action: Click here

 

EANGUS Legislative Update; 20 October 2015

HR 1735, FY2016 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT (NDAA)

Speaker of the House, John Boehner plans to send the FY16 NDAA down Pennsylvania Ave to the President’s desk tomorrow, Wednesday, October 21. All summer and fall, President Obama has threatened to veto the NDAA largely because it surpasses the Budget Control Act (BCA) caps and keeps Guantanamo Bay open. If the NDAA is delivered on time, the House of Representatives will have to remain open for business for ten consecutive days – excluding Sundays – to stave off a pocket veto. It is likely that a handful of Congressmen will remain in DC so the House can recess, without having to adjourn, in turn forcing the President to veto the bill. Political insiders believe President will veto the NDAA. While the NDAA has passed for 53 consecutive years, this would not be the first time a President has vetoed an NDAA before a final bill was resolved that same year. This would be the fifth time President Obama has used his veto authority during his time in office. In a letter to the Office of Management and Budget, Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter expressed his concerns over the legislation and suggested President Obama veto the bill. After a veto, the EANGUS National Office staff plan to advocate for increased National Guard end strength, for the Apaches already delivered to the Army to be counted toward the total deliverable Apaches, and for honorary veteran status for 20-year Guardsmen.

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE RACE

As of October 20, all eyes are on House Ways and Means Committee Chair – and former Vice Presidential nominee – Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI). Known as a moderate Republican, Representative Ryan will undoubtedly face many of the same challenges as outgoing Speaker John Boehner. As many as 40 House Freedom Caucus members desire a more conservative Speaker but some of those caucus members also believe that the responsibilities of the Speaker position have less to do with the Speaker’s personal views and more to do with how the Speaker manages the House floor process, including which amendments are considered during bill debate. If Representative Ryan declines consideration, Representatives Chaffetz (R-UT), Issa (R-CA), McCaul (R-TX), and Conaway (R-TX) are seen as serious candidates. However, each have expressed their desire for Representative Ryan to seek the gavel and would not challenge him. The Speaker election is scheduled for Thursday, October 29.

DEBT LIMIT

The U.S. government will default on debts if the borrowing limit is not increased by Thursday, November 5 per the Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew. Congressional Republicans and Democrats are negotiating a deal to increase the debt limit and decrease spending. Defense hawks on Capitol Hill do not want to see decreases to defense spending, non-defense discretionary spending decreases, and entitlement reforms. Most Democrats prefer increased taxes to pay for defense and non-defense spending, and to leave entitlements untouched. Speaker Boehner is working to resolve a deal before his departure at the end of the month so the new Speaker of the House can start with a clean slate.

HEALTHCARE REFORM SURVEY

The Senate and House Armed Services Committees will consider reforms to the military healthcare system. While Congress is still considering the FY16 NDAA, there are no specific details about what could be considered in the FY17 NDAA. EANGUS, in conjunction with the Reserve Officers Association and NGAUS, crafted a survey to ensure the voices of the Reserve Component are heard. Please follow this link to the EANGUS homepage and fill out the TRICARE Reserve: Access and Quality of Healthcare survey.

Take action: Click here

NGAUS Legislative Alert #15-18; 8 October 2015

The Issue: Providing flexibility to military members and their families during times of deployment and relocation.

Immediate Action Required: Ask your senators to support S. 2137, the Military Family Stability Act, a bill sponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-MO.

More Information: NGAUS strongly supports S. 2137, the Military Family Stability Act, a bill that provides flexibility to military members and their families during times of deployment and relocation.
In an era of persistent military conflict and multiple deployments, and with more military spouses also working, there are many destabilizing factors affecting today’s military families. Provisions in this bill will provide service members, their spouses and their children a broader range of options when adapting to these stressful times.

Military families are what keep our military strong. This bill requires the U.S. Comptroller General to propose recommendations to alleviate disruptive regulations affecting military families during deployments. The bill focuses on spouse employment, school children and housing allowance flexibility.

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

NGAUS Point of Contact:

Grace Washbourne
NGAUS Joint Programs Manager
202-408-5893
grace.washbourne@ngaus.org

Take action: Click here

EANGUS Legislative Alert #2015-012; 8 October 2015

EANGUS Supports S. 2137, the Military Family Stability Act

EANGUS supports S. 2137, the Military Family Stability Act, a bill that provides flexibility to military members and their families during times of deployment and relocation.

In an era of persistent military conflict and multiple deployments, and with more military spouses also working, there are many destabilizing factors affecting today’s military families. Provisions in this bill will provide service members, their spouses and their children a broader range of options when adapting to these stressful times.

Military families are what keep our military strong. This bill requires the U.S. Comptroller General to propose recommendations to alleviate disruptive regulations affecting military families during deployments. The bill focuses on spouse employment, school children and housing allowance flexibility.

Take action: Click here

EANGUS Legislative Alert; 6 October 2015

HR 1735, FY2016 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT (NDAA)

Legislative Provisions affecting members of the National Guard:

WINS:
• Creation of defined contribution Thrift Saving Plan with government matching program (Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission “MCRMC”)
• Discounted Lump Sum Payments after 20 years of service (MCRMC)
o Major victory for Guardsmen
o EANGUS National Office played a major role in this victory
• Financial Literacy for Military (MCRMC)
• Reserve Component stream lining of statuses (MCRMC)
• Extends the limitation on the transfer of AH-64 Apaches helicopters from the ARNG from March 31, 2016, to June 30, 2016
• Accelerated C-130 Avionics Modification Program (AMP) 1 and 2 Modernization
• Additional funding for F-15 and F-16 AESA radars
• Authorizes additional funding for Black Hawk procurement and modernization
• Authorization for the National Guard State Partnership Program for five years including enhancements to scope, state coordinators, and reporting and feasibility of central funding stream
• Authorizes additional ARNG Operation and Maintenance funding
• Council of Governors consultation on cyber forces
• Requires DoD report detailing options for potentially accelerating the replacement of all UH-60A helicopters in the ARNG
• Requires CNGB to issue guidance that prioritizes UH-60 helicopter upgrades within the ARNG
• Restores funding to A-10 and prohibits retirement
• Authorizes additional funding for M1 Abrams tank modifications
• Enhancements to Yellow Ribbon Program to include quality of life services
• TRICARE effectiveness reports and data collection
• Allows one time access of TRICARE Prime for those living more than 100 miles from MTF
• C-130 Engine and Propeller modernization funding
• Authority for Reserve AGRs and Mil Techs to provide training to active duty and foreign military personnel
• DoD biennial exercises on responding to cyber attacks against critical infrastructure includes RC, Governors participation
• SECAF Remotely Piloted Manning Issue Report

LOSSES:
• Allows the ARNG to increase end strength by up to 3,000 AGR by 615, and dual status technicians by 1,111 (Loss of 1,726 jobs)
• Honorary Veterans Status for Guardsmen with 20 YOS, but not 180 days active duty
• Exemption of Dual Status Military Technicians from civilian employee furloughs
• Counts previously transferred ARNG AH-64s against number of transferrable aircraft
• CNGB assessment of requirements for personnel, training and equipment for non-federalized Guard
• Comptroller General Report on Cyber Authorities/Title 32
• Requires NGB to expand the CST Information Management System to all CBRNE Enterprise units
• Comptroller General Review of Homeland Response Forces readiness
• Annual report on Personnel, Training and Equipment Requirements for the non-federalized Guard to support civilian authorities in prevention and response to non-catastrophic domestic disasters
• Comptroller General report on DoD plans and actions for providing support to civil authorities in the event of domestic cyber incident, including Title 32 and SAD
• Electric tour calculator for Reserves
• Tracking of Reserve Component non-disability mental conditions
• Requires training of all ARNG and ANG Cyber Protection Teams by 2018, and plans for FY16-17
• Allowing Guard and Reserve to purchase veteran memorial headstone and markers
• CNGB plan on better execution of NG Counterdrug funding

ANALYSIS:
• During the week of September 28th, The House of Representatives passed the NDAA by a vote of 270-156, twenty votes short needed to override a veto.
• President Obama has threated to veto because of the use of one-year Oversees Contingency Operations (OCO) funding.
• EANGUS National Office restraining from engaging Senate and Office of the Presidency regarding support for the bill (i.e. there will not be an EANGUS Legislative Call-to-Action at this time). If the President vetoes the legislation, EANGUS National Office staff can reengage the House and Senate about the issues listed above.

ESTIMATED OUTCOME:
• President Obama will veto the NDAA in October. Congress will consider a new budget deal during the fall, then reconsider the NDAA (this time with more money in the base budget and fewer dollars in OCO), and pass the reconsidered NDAA for the President’s signature by the end of calendar year 2015.

Healthcare Reforms in 2016

The Senate and House Armed Services Committees will consider reforms to the military healthcare system. While Congress is still considering the FY16 NDAA, there are no specific details about what could be considered in the FY17 NDAA. EANGUS, in conjunction with the Reserve Officers Association and NGAUS, crafted a survey to ensure the voices of the Reserve Component are heard. Please follow this link to the EANGUS homepage and fill out the TRICARE Reserve: Access and Quality of Healthcare survey.

From: Scott Bousum, scott.bousum@eangus.org, Legislative Director, EANGUS National Office

NGAI Update; 25 September 2015

Dear NGAI Members and Friends,

We’re coming off a very successful conclusion of both our national conferences and starting to focus on 2016, but we still have allot to do in 2015. As Fall approaches, we will be kicking off the 2016 NGAI/EANGUS/NGAUS Membership campaign and our 2016 NGAI Legislative Goals. Be sure to check at www.NGAI.net on a regular basis for the latest information.

EANGUS Indy was a huge success and everyone attending fell in love with Indianapolis. The EANGUS Indy host team did a fantastic job, but the weather played a factor as well. Who would have dreamed we’d have highs in the upper 70s in August? We’ll just let all the visitors think that is normal Indy weather!  Check out the EANGUS Indy photo link at https://plus.google.com/115977463308327387509/photos. Pre-registration pricing ($150) has been extended for EANGUS 2016, so take advantage and join us in New Orleans next year. Pre-registration is available at http://eangus2016.org/

NGAUS Nashville was a great time with nearly 100 Hoosier delegates starting off with Charlie Daniels and ending with a show at the Grand Ole Opry. In between there were great briefs from senior army and air officers highlighted by General Mark Milley. If you weren’t there, you can still see General Milley’s brief courtesy of NGAUS at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBFhwVhLnCI . Make sure you watch this great video and hear about MG Corey Carr’s opportunity to enjoy being a LTC again! A great group of CGO/WOs consisting of NGAI Fellows and OPD funded received some great briefs and had a bit of fun at the same time. If you’ve never experienced a NGAUS before, check with someone who has and see what you’ve been missing.

As we close out 2015, we have a couple of great opportunities for you to consider. First, is our next Indiana National Guard alumni event co-hosted by NGAI. This year’s event is 16-17 October and will start at the Johnson county Armory for the MG R. Martin Umbarger Hall dedication and Alumni update briefs. We will transition to the Atterbury Conference Center for dinner and a time of fellowship. BOQ lodging is available for those desiring to stay for Saturday’s activities on the firing line and simulator facilities. Visit our homepage www.ngai.net for all the details. RSVP with Christy Ruzga, 317-247-3300, ext. 79956 or Christy.L.Ruzga.nfg@mail.mil.

The other opportunity is a new fund raising partnership with Friends of the NRA and a 2016 NGAI/FNRA Calendar raffle. Your calendar is your raffle ticket for $50. We will draw for 36 weapons and if you win the first weapon, you still have equal opportunity on the next 35. So for as little as $1.50 per weapon chance, you will have an opportunity to win multiple weapons plus receive a cool calendar. Calendars are available from any NGAI Board member and many or our CGO and Enlisted Committees. Or you can order on line at https://www.ngai.net/2016-calendar/ .