Just hours after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel unveiled a budget yesterday that includes changes to the military's compensation package, vets groups jumped on, taking a sort of any-change-is-unacceptable stance. The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America's Paul Rieckhoff, in a statement: "Here we go again. Washington is trying to balance the budget on the backs of those who have sacrificed the most. We know the Defense Department must make difficult budget decisions, but these cuts would hit service members, making it harder for them and their families to make ends meet.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday proposed trimming the Defense Department’s personnel costs with cuts in military benefits, pay and troop numbers.
The Pentagon’s 2015 budget request, due for release on Tuesday, would reduce housing allowances, increase health-care fees for active-duty families and military retirees, slash commissary subsidies by 71 percent and place a one-year hold on pay raises for the highest-ranking officers. The plan also calls for shrinking the Army to its smallest size in 74 years.
Proposed military cuts announced by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday would affect service members and their families, The Hill reported.
The budget proposal calls for a 5 percent reduction in tax-free housing allowances for service members and an end to insurance reimbursements for renters.
Healthcare copayments would also go up, as would deductibles for some family members of active duty service members and some veterans – though not for those medically retired, according to Stars and Stripes.
Welcome to Barack Obama’s America, where the Pentagon budget slashes benefits for active duty personnel while Obama wants a pay raise for civilian federal employees. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s new defense budget includes cutting healthcare copays and deductibles for active duty personnel and their families, as well as slashing subsidies military families get when they have to buy housing and low-cost goods.
An expansion of healthcare and education programs for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cleared its first procedural hurdle on Tuesday, as Democrats in the U.S. Senate attempted to win passage of the legislation this week.
By a vote of 99-0, the Senate laid the groundwork for debating a bill that would create 27 new medical facilities in 18 states and Puerto Rico to help meet the growing needs of veterans of the long combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Topline: The Pentagon is facing a looming fight against veterans groups and lawmakers in its 2015 defense budget preview released Monday.
The proposal would reduce benefits for active-duty personnel, reduce the Army’s size to a pre-World War II level and close excess military bases — all things that have faced stiff resistance by Congress and veterans.
Every Veterans Day and Memorial Day, politicians across the political spectrum give fine speeches about their respect and admiration for the veterans of our country. As chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I have learned that, regardless of political ideology, most members of Congress mean what they say and fully understand and appreciate the enormous sacrifices veterans and their families have made for our nation.
Any suspicion that the political right, after suffering a defeat on the debt ceiling and facing threats from business donors, is losing its clout can be dismissed by the fight over the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities.
The treaty has been ratified by 141 countries. In the United States, it is backed by the White House, former President George H.W. Bush, the major disability and veterans’ advocacy groups, and businesses.
The Defense Department on Monday proposed cutting the Army to its smallest size in 74 years, slashing a class of attack jets and rolling back personnel costs in an effort to adjust a department buoyed by a decade of war to an era of leaner budgets.