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McKeon Appeals For Veteran Benefits

buck2Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee, and Rep. Steve Buyer, the Ranking Member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, today called on Rep. John Spratt to utilize the “reserve funds” he imbedded in the House Budget Resolution to pay for key benefits that were promised to and are so richly deserved by America’s military personnel and their families, military retirees and veterans.

 

 

During consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 in committee last year, Republicans on the Armed Services Committee attempted to force the Budget Committee Chairman to utilize the “reserve funds” to eliminate the unfair tax created by the offset between Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuities and Veterans’ Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC).  Ultimately, that effort was blocked on a budget technicality.

 

In preparation for committee consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 on June 16, Republicans are again encouraging the Budget Committee Chairman to identify the necessary offsets so the promise of the “reserve funds” may become real.

 

A copy of the letter follows:

 

The Honorable John Spratt

Chairman

U.S. House Committee on the Budget

207 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chairman Spratt:

 

Last week during the Budget Committee hearing with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, you noted that the President’s Budget is full of placeholders and promises.  We would also note that the Concurrent Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2010 is also filled with place holders and promises called reserve funds.  You also stated that “…The proof will be in the pudding, as they say, on how Congress and the administration actually implement…” these placeholders. We couldn’t agree more with the sentiment of your statement.

 

As you are aware, the reserve fund created by section 324 of the budget resolution would permit you to provide, in a deficit neutral manner, budget allocations that would complete the promise of concurrent receipt for disabled military retirees (S.546); eliminate the Widows Tax created by the offset between Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuities and Veterans’ Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) (H.R.775/S.535); improve healthcare coverage for reserve component members (H.R. 972); and fund President Obama’s initiative to provide concurrent receipt for disabled military retirees with less than 20 years service.  Cutting waste, fraud and abuse amounting to 0.14 per cent of the spending allocated by the budget resolution would provide the necessary offsets to fund these priorities.

 

Therefore, we, the Republican signatories from the committees below, strongly encourage you to exercise your authority under section 324 to make concrete and real the promise of the reserve fund:   to ensure America’s military personnel and their families, military retirees, and veterans have the support they so richly deserve.

 

Sincerely,

 

Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (CA)

Joe Wilson (SC); Ranking Member, Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel

Steve Buyer (IN); Ranking Member, Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

Roscoe G. Bartlett (MD)

Mac Thornberry (TX)

Walter B. Jones (NC)

W. Todd Akin (MO)

J. Randy Forbes (VA)

Jeff Miller (FL)

Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ)

Rob Bishop (UT)

Michael Turner (OH)

John Kline (MN)

Mike Rogers (AL)

Trent Franks (AZ)

Bill Shuster (PA)

Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA)

Michael Conaway (TX)

Doug Lamborn (CO)

Rob Wittman (VA)

Mary Fallin (OK)

Duncan Hunter (CA)

John Fleming (LA)

Mike Coffman (CO)

Tom Rooney (FL)

McKeon Appeals For Veteran Benefits

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