2013 Accomplishments

Legislative Accomplishments for 2013

Active Duty

  • Enactment of the Pay Our Military Act, a measure promising full pay and allowances to service members during a government shutdown
  • Extension of 30+ bonuses/special pays & temporary early retirement authority
  • Blocked “BRAC”-style commission to propose military retirement changes
  • Further extensions of authority to provide temporary increases in BAH for areas impacted by natural disasters or experiencing a sudden influx of personnel
  • Statutory protection of individual expressions of religious or moral beliefs

Health Care

  • Blocked enrollment fee proposals on TRICARE for Life and TRICARE Standard
  • Prevented means-testing proposal for TRICARE Prime and TRICARE for Life
  • Prevented additional TRICARE pharmacy co-pay increases
  • Secured a one-time election to reenroll in TRICARE Prime for certain beneficiaries who were no longer eligible as of October 1, 2013
  • Prevented 24% cut in Medicare and TRICARE reimbursement payments to doctors

Veterans

  • Blocked use of the “Chained-CPI” to determine COLA’s; ensuring “full CPI” increase of 1.5 percent for affected groups
  • DoD payments of death gratuity and burial benefits to the families of people who died on active duty despite the government shutdown; retroactive to Oct 1, 2013
  • Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP) eligibility enhancements for behavioral health support for wounded warriors via telemental health
  • Established authority for health registries for service members, families and veterans exposed to toxic substances on military camps, posts and stations
  • Created financial penalties for fraudulent use of unauthorized military awards and/or decorations for personal gain (Stolen Valor Act)
  • Extended tax credits to December 31, 2013 for employers who hire recent vets, incl. unemployed / disabled and Guard-Reserve veterans
  • Restoration approval of former Clark Air Force Base, Philippines, by the American Battle Monuments Commission and bi-national MOU to move forward
  • Statutory authority for members of the Armed Forces not in uniform and Veterans to render the military salute during recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance
  • $67.8 million for the Armed Forces Retirement Home

Military Family / Survivor / Other Issues

  • Reduced the list of states not participating in the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children down to four
  • $30 million in Impact Aid to school districts with high numbers of military children
  • Improved assistance for Gold Star spouses and other dependents

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