RAO Davao City

United States Military Retiree Activities Office Davao City, Philippines

NDAA 2009 UPDATE 11 June 2008

Posted by Service Officer on June 11th, 2008

Sometime in June, the full Senate will be considering Defense Authorization Bill (S.2787) amendments on a variety of issues close to the hearts of the military community. These include:

 

• Tricare Fees: Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE) will be offering their amendment that would establish principles in law that military people pay large in-kind premiums of sacrifice for their lifetime health care in addition to cash fees in retirement, and that their fees shouldn’t rise in any year by a percentage that exceeds the percentage increase in their military compensation.

• Concurrent Receipt: Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will offer one or more amendments to eliminate the VA disability offset to earned military retired pay.

• Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP): Sen. Bill Nelson’s (D-FL) amendment would end the deduction of VA survivor benefits from SBP for all survivors of servicemembers who died of service-connected causes.

• GI Bill Transferability: Sen. John Warner (R-VA) will offer an amendment to allow servicemembers who complete their initial obligations and commit to extended service the opportunity to transfer part (or in some cases all) of their GI Bill benefits to a spouse or child(ren).

• Reserve Retirement Age: Sen. Saxby Chambliss’s (R-GA) amendment would allow three months’ reduction in the reserve retirement age for every 90 days activated since Sept. 11, 2001.

When these amendments are finalized, veterans will be asked to e-mail and call their senators to support them. The House completed action on their Defense Authorization Bill (H.R.5658) in MAY. After the Senate approves its version (hopefully by the end of June), House and Senate leaders will have to negotiate resolutions to the differences in the two versions. This could be accomplished before Congress recesses for the election. However, recent history indicates we may not get a final defense bill until late NOV or DEC, via a post-election “lame duck” session of Congress. [Source: MOAA Leg Up 30 May 08 ++]

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