Pay Attention or You’ll Pay UP

We have 2 Action Items today at Issues 1 & 2 below


Summary of Issues


At Issue 1. we see PAY ATTENTION OR YOU’LL PAY UP. Benefits and compensation attacks are really adding up. MOAA’s President has a message for you. (Click on PAY ATTENTION OR YOU’LL PAY UP here or above to watch a 2 minute video and at the end send a message to our Legislators. Or go to Here is The Process at the end of this message to send your first message. GF


At Issue 2. we see TELL CONGRESS TO REJECT MILITARY PAY AND BENEFITS CUTS. You have a lot to lose as House and Senate leaders begin to reconcile the two versions of the defense bill. What’s at stake:

  • dramatic retiree health care fee increases;
  • huge erosions to housing allowances (up to $10,000-$20,000 or more per year);
  • a fourth consecutive pay raise cutback; and
  • more cuts to already-overstressed forces.

Send your elected officials a MOAA-suggested message today.

(Click on TELL CONGRESS TO REJECT MILITARY PAY AND BENEFITS CUTS here or above to send a message to our Legislators Issue.  Or go to Here is The Process at the end of this message to send your second message. GF)

At Issue 3. we see MOAA SUPPORTS KEY VETERANS’ LEGISLATION. Committee weighs in on multiple veterans’ bills. See which bills MOAA supports..(See Issue 3 below for the details. GF)

At Issue 4. we see COALITION CONTINUES TO FIGHT FOR MILITARY KIDS. PCSing and the impact on military children. The Military Child Education Coalition collaborates to improve educational resources See Issue 4 below for the details. GF)

Collectively We Can and Are Making a Difference


FOR ALL, Please feel free to pass these Weekly Legislative Updates on to your group of Veteran Friends –

don’t be concerned with possible duplications – if your friends are as concerned as we are with Veteran issues, they probably won’t mind getting this from two or more friendly sources



Issue 1. See the Summary of Issues above to take action. Or go to Here is The Process at the end of this message to send your first message

Issue 2. See the Summary of issues above to take action. Or go to Here is The Process at the end of this message to send your second message


1 July 2016

Although the FY17 Military Construction and VA Appropriations Bill stalled this week on Capitol Hill, Congress continued to press forward on several other important veterans’ bills.

On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs considered a number of health care and benefit measures aimed at enhancing the delivery of care and services to our nation’s veterans and their families.

In a statement before the committee, MOAA urged members to support many of the bills, including:

  • S. 2210: Veteran Partners’ Efforts to Enhance Reintegration (PEER) Act. This measure would establish a two-year pilot program to incorporate peer specialists for patient-aligned care teams at 25 VA medical centers to promote integration of mental health services in the primary care setting.
  • S. 2279: Veterans Health Care Staffing Improvement Act. This bill would increase efficiency in the recruitment and hiring of VA health care professionals by, among other things:
    • creating uniform credentialing standards for certain health care professionals working in the agency so employees can practice in any location in the VA health system.
    • granting full practice authority to advanced practice nurses and physician assistants, bringing VA in line with practices of DoD and other agencies.

“MOAA is especially pleased to see the effort to align the VA nurse workforce with other federal health care services,” said Capt. Kathy Beasley, USN (Ret), MOAA deputy director of Government Relations. “In the Navy we would never train a sailor on 10 skills, then limit them to using only three. Our veterans need all the skills Advanced Practice Registered Nurses can provide.”

  • S. 3035: Maximizing Efficiency and Improving Access to Providers at the Department of Veterans Affairs Act of 2016. The measure would require DoD to carry out an 18-month pilot program using medical scribes to support physicians in at least five Veterans Health Administration facilities. The intent is to let doctors focus on patient care rather than paperwork, reduce appointment wait times, improve patients’ access to electronic medical records, and ease physician shortages through increased productivity.
  • S. 3032: Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2016. This bill would provide the same COLA increases in VA disability compensation and survivor annuities as received by Social Security recipients.
  • S. 3042: Justice for Servicemembers Act of 2016. This bill would close a loophole that currently exists in procedural rights under the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Presently, servicemembers returning to their civilian jobs who find their employer has violated USERRA may not be fully protected if they signed an employment contract that requires disputes be mediated by an arbitrator rather than litigated in court.

Arbitration prevents servicemembers from appealing an unfavorable decision and places the employer in a much more advantageous position than the servicemember. Closing this loophole is important to preserve protections intended by Congress when USERRA was enacted.

At a press conference held before the committee hearing, MOAA Deputy Director of Government Relations, LtCol (select) Aniela Szymanski, USMCR, thanked Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) for their leadership in standing up for Reserve and National Guard members.

MOAA Deputy Director of Government Relations, LtCol (select) Aniela Szymanski, USMCR speaking before the committee hearing

“As a currently serving reservist, I am intimately familiar with the challenges of balancing a reserve and civilian career,” said Szymanski. “I can attest through my own experiences and those of our members that these actions by employers cause enormous strain on the ability of members to stay in the Reserves and Guard because they are faced with an almost impossible decision of serving their country versus feeding their family.”

MOAA thanks the Committee for considering these important pieces of legislation and for continued support of our veterans and their families.




1 July 2016

By: Brooke Goldberg, Deputy Director, Government Relations. Click to read about the author. About the Author

The Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) held its 18th National Training Seminar this week in Washington D.C., inviting educators, youth development professionals, military and education leaders, non-profits, and others to engage and collaborate to address challenges in educating military-connected children.

Military children move three times more often than their civilian counterparts – as many as six to nine times between Kindergarten and 12th grade. This creates social challenges military children overcome with grit, perseverance and determination – the theme of this year’s MCEC event.

They also face many other challenges; meeting highly variable state-specific academic requirements, establishing relationships with counselors and coaches, maintaining positive momentum in areas of strength and interest, knowing where to find resources when needed, and learning in a foreign environment where English is not the first language. All of these challenges must be faced and overcome, sandwiched in between a parent’s permanent change of station and the reestablishment of the entire family.

At the National Training Seminar, supporters who work around military children share programs, tips, and new challenges with each other. Many organizations find inspiration to fill new gaps and report on their metrics and successes. Parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, and program directors come together to identify best practices and find tools for implementation.

This year, Michael Coleman, CEO of The College Board (creator of the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program), spoke about efforts to facilitate more opportunities for accessing higher education. This year, The College Board gave Kahn Academy (an online education tool) exclusive access to SAT questions from the new SAT, to provide free official SAT prep online. The College Board also wants to make it easier to identify military children eligible for scholarships based on PSAT scores. This change would bridge a gap for military children who might have a harder time accessing scholarships because they don’t have the same visibility and established relationships with guidance counselors.

Beyond this annual event, MCEC provides numerous resources for parents and teachers for children from birth to age 18. Your family can find resources for supporting academics, helping interpret grade level standards, facing emotional changes, preparing for college, and much more. MCEC is a valuable resource for families with military connected children.

MOAA also offers resources for military connected kids. The MOAA Scholarship Fund, since 1948, has provided $135M in interest free loans and grants to over 13,500 military children. During the 2015-2016 school year, nearly $9.2M in interest free loans and grants was given to over 1,700 students. To learn more about MOAA membership, visit us at

Here is the Process I recommend that you review all of the steps below and then you might want to copy this process by high lighting all of the steps below.  Then click on “File” at the top of your screen, select “Print“, then click on “Selection” at the next display and then hit “Print“; or print the selected portion as you usually do this kind of task.


  1. Click here on or copy and paste it in your browser to put you at the  “Legislative Action Center” screen.
  2. Scroll down under “Current Action Alerts” and below Congress click on: Prevent Steep Cuts in Military Housing Allowances the first time through this process, and click on Stop Defense Bill Personnel/Compensation Cuts the second time through the process
  3. 3. If applicable, at the next screen scroll down to the TAKE ACTION NOW! line and enter or confirm your Zip code and /or hit “Go!”
  4. 4. Or at that next screen under “COMPOSE MESSAGE” leave the “Message Recipients Delivery Method” as “Email” at your discretion, and then scroll down to “Issue Area” and select an appropriate issue; e.g. ‘Veteran affairs’
  5. Scroll down to the  “Editable text” area and edit/modify the text of the message if desired,
  6. Insert “Your Closing” (I show ‘Respectfully), and “Your Name” and fill in the rest of the mandatory {asterisked} SENDER INFORMATION.
  7. Fill in the “Guest Type“, “Service“, “Rank“, “Component“, and “Status” if you want that information to show in your message (recommended).  You may be prompted to include a phone number if you try to send the message without entering your phone number. Don’t be concerned about entering a phone number. I haven’t  received return calls except on rare occasions to thank me for my interest in a particular piece of Legislation, at which time you can comment (pro or con) to the staff member on how the Senator stands on the issue.
  8. Check “Remember Me” (recommended) if you don’t want to have to re-enter all of your Sender Information the next time you send a message. You can always change your information or uncheck ‘Remember Me’ anytime in the future.
  9. Hit “Send Message”
  10. If Printed Letter was selected at Step 4 above, at the screen after hitting “Send Message” leave “Plain Paper Style” and “Word Processor (RTF)” checked unless you have another preference. Then left click on “Print Letter(s)” at the end of the “PRINT LETTER” screen. At the File Download” alert that appears next, click on “Open”. You can then edit and print or save the letter for editing, printing, signing and mailing.
  11. After hitting “Send Message” above the first time through this process, return to Step 2 above and click on Raise SSIA for Military Widows the second time through the process.





That’s it for today- Thanks for your continuing help!