Wednesday, February 9, 2011

An Active Couple Weeks for ROA on the Hill

Over the past couple weeks, ROA met with the staff of key congressmen to discuss several important issues.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.

ROA discussed strategy for correcting early retirement this year. Among the approaches discussed was correcting the coverage back to Sept. 11, 2001. The challenge faced is the need to offset the CBO-recalculated cost of $1.2 billion over ten years.

ROA Current Issues: Reserve Retirement

Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa

ROA discussed tactics to ensure that the policy is changed to eliminate the Fiscal Year barrier. While in the Fiscal Year 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, the provision was a Sense of Congress, rather than an actual change to U.S. Code. Congress informed the Pentagon that it was incorrectly crediting early retirement, which provides a 90 day reduction in retirement age for pay for every 90 days served. If a 90 day period crossed over Oct. 1, credit was lost for that quarter. Latham is considering reintroducing the bill to change the language.

Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla.

Miller is the new chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Items discussed were veteran status for Reserve Component members with 20 or more years of service, Reserve retirement, and earlier retirement.

ROA Current Issues: Veterans Affairs

"Visit the Hill" event

Lastly, ROA had a successful “Visit the Hill” event with 70 members from the National Convention taking time to deliver ROA position papers and the 2011 legislative agenda to congressional offices.  Many departments visited multiple offices. ROA is already being contacted by staffers who were visited to work on legislative issues.


Ron Cummins said...

HR 3787 passed in the House last Congress. The companion bill SB 1780 died in committee lacking one vote to send it to the floor for a Senate vote. The dissenting vote was none other than former Secretary of the Navy Senator James Webb. I wrote Webb questioning his patriotism. I received no response.

I read on the internet today that Webb is not running for reelection. Boo Hoo!

I hope that legislation is reintroduced in the current Congress and passed by both houses.

Is Webb still on the Veterans Committee? Senator Patty Murray of Washington State is the new Chairman of the Committee. She has always been good to Veterans.

ReserveOfficer said...

ROA is working with Rep. Tim Walz's office on reintroduction and finding cosponsors. With the loss of Sen Blanche Lincoln in the Senate (through non-reelection) a sponsor for a companion bill is being sought in the Senate as well.

Anonymous said...

Re Early Retirement Credit: Why doesn't ROA engage Rep. Joe Wilson to amend his HR 181 currently in his committee? Seems like Section 3 of HR 181 can be amended to address the FY-to-FY barrier, i.e., Add "DoD shall implment this provision to achieve the Congressional intent of reducing the age at which a reserve component member may receive their retired pay below the age of 60 by 3 months for every 90 days of qualifying active duty served." FYI, I am regularly seeing orders being cut for 75-89 days of active duty service or over the FY/1Oct date to game away this credit from reservists as a budget tightening stategy. Not fair.