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Posted on 4/22/2014
New AFSA CEO Announced
Posted on 4/14/2014
The AFSA headquarters staff expended considerable time over the past month meeting with House & Senate members regarding the Administration’s proposals to curb pay raises, cut appropriations for commissaries, and raise TRICARE fees among other ideas. As a result of those efforts, we believe many Representatives in the House will reject a number of the Administration's budget proposals. However we can always use more supporters when the chamber begins marking up its version of the annual defense policy bill at the end of April. This is where you come in. Congress is on recess through April 28th and lawmakers will be working out of their local offices. Call or visit those local offices and urge them to reject any plan that reduces or limits pay, and/or shifts costs of benefit programs to servicemembers, retirees, and military families.
Posted on 4/8/2014
Oversight in Overdrive
Congressional oversight of the authorization and appropriations process has turned into a full court press! This week alone, AFSA is monitoring more than two dozen hearings and markup sessions that could impact our members. The pace ends on Friday when Congress begins its two-week Spring District Work Period. When lawmakers return after the Easter holiday, their emphasis will swing toward the actual writing of authorization and appropriations bills. One area of particular interest to AFSA is the annual defense policy bill. The House Armed Services Committee tells AFSA it plans to write its version of the National Defense Authorization Act at the end of this month.
Posted on 4/3/2014
Posted on 4/2/2014
2014 National Guard and Reserve Component Caucus Breakfast
On April 2, House lawmakers, defense officials and military advocates gathered together for the 2014 National Guard and Reserve Component Caucus Breakfast which AFSA sponsors with several Coalition partners. During the event, Deputy Defense Secretary Christine Fox and senior representatives from each of the reserve components took a turn at the lectern identifying their priorities for the upcoming year. While the defense budget and concerns with the impact sequestration drew comments from nearly every speaker, three common themes were expressed by each of the military leaders: the need to optimize mission readiness; investing in personnel (retention, training and education, suicide prevention, etc.); and, the importance of taking care of military families. Secretary Fox, was very candid with her proposed positions on the reserve components needs, funding, and very long strategic planning for the defense of our Nation. Her A 10 statements drew some less than desirable looks in the audience. AFSA was honored to support this important annual event on behalf of our Guard and reserve members.
Posted on 4/1/2014
"Doc Fix" Awaits Signature by President
After the House passed the bill last week, late Monday the Senate followed suit (as AFSA predicted) and also approved a 1 year extension of the current "Doc Fix" by a vote of 64-35. Congress needed to act no later than March 31 if they hoped to prevent a 24% cut to Medicare and TRICARE physician reimbursement payments scheduled to begin on April 1. Although President Obama has not yet signed the bill, we have every indication that he will and one more deadline involving Congressional action will again be narrowly averted. The flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula responsible for the perennial "doc-fix" issue will now be placed on the backburner until we reach the next deadline and revisit this issue towards the end of 2014.