|(November 21, 2014) Last June, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4345, the Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. The bill rejected the Administration’s request to significantly reduce military compensation, including reducing the troops’ pay raise, increasing TRICARE pharmacy co-pays and reducing the basic housing allowance (BAH) for military personnel. However, the Senate version of the bill, S. 2410, adopts the proposals to cut military compensation and benefits.
In addition, if Congress chooses to accept the proposal to reduce BAH benefits, the cuts will not only harm tens of thousands of military families, but will also negatively impact student veterans. The living stipend provided by the G.I. Bill is tied to the military’s BAH; therefore, student veterans will also see a reduction in their benefits if Congress accepts the Pentagon’s proposal.
According to congressional sources tracking the bill, negotiations on the final bill have stalled amid disagreements between House and Senate Armed Services committee leaders over these issues affecting military benefits.
We need your help to ensure Congress knows we want service members’ and veterans’ pay and benefits protected as they negotiate a final version of the defense bill. All Legionnaires, concerned citizens, veterans and their families are asked to contact their congressional representatives to ask them to sustain a 1.8 percent active duty pay raise, reject cuts to the Basic Allowance for Housing, and reject proposed TRICARE pharmacy co-pay increases.
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