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realignment-and-closure-style process to rush through such massively important legislation without allowing for substan- tive debate and reasonable amendments. In effect, this legislation would grant


huge power to relatively small groups of legislators who happen to agree on a plan to gore someone else’s oxen. Budget-cutting decisions aren’t easy,


but they’re a fundamental responsibility of Congress. Deferring decision-making to automatic triggers (sequestration) or small groups of like-minded legislators is an abdication of that responsibility, in MOAA’s view.


Veteran Jobs Bill


Becomes Law Legislation provides a tax credit for hiring veterans.


S


urrounded by veterans’ service organizations and principal Sen- ate and House sponsors, President


Obama signed into law the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 at a White House cer- emony Nov. 28, 2011. First lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Dr. Jill Biden also attended the signing. The legislation includes employer tax


credits for hiring unemployed veterans, job-training benefits for older veterans, and upgraded transition services for men and women leaving active duty, among other initiatives. “MOAA is particularly pleased to see


employer tax credits included in the VOW to Hire Heroes Act,” said MOAA President Vice Adm. Norbert R. Ryan Jr., USN-Ret., who attended the cer- emony. “MOAA has long championed employer tax credits for hiring our Na- tional Guard and Reserve service-women and -men. The VOW to Hire Heroes Act


broadens this concept by extending these credits to all unemployed veterans, with higher tax credits for hiring unemployed disabled veterans.” Earlier, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who chairs the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, cited MOAA’s efforts to help push the legislation through Congress.


Your Help Is A


Needed Now Protect your interests with letters to leaders.


fter the president submits his proposed FY 2013 budget in early February, the first step in Congress


will be for the House and Senate budget committees to draft their respective ver- sions of the FY 2013 budget resolution. The budget resolution sets spending limits and assumes specific cuts for each congressional committee. This is where the rubber meets the road


for any proposed increases in health care fees, pay-raise and force-level cutbacks, retirement changes, and any proposed caps or delays in military retired pay COLAs or other compensation elements. With at least some of these initiatives


expected in the president’s budget, it will take a concerted effort to remind the bud- get committees the military community has already given through decades of ser- vice and sacrifice, and compounding that with major new compensation penalties would be inappropriate. Between pages 36 and 37 and 48 and


49, you’ll find four tear-out letters pre- addressed to the leaders of the House and Senate budget committees. If your spouse’s information is in your MOAA record, we’ve included an additional four letters for your spouse to sign and send in.


*fact: Call (800) 234-MOAA (6622) to add your spouse’s information to your MOAA record. FEBRUARY 2012 MILITARY OFFICER 37


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