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washingtonscene


LEGISLATIVE NEWS THAT AFFECTS YOU Veto Bait?


Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter says he will urge the president to veto the FY 2017 Defense Authorization Bill unless Armed Services committee leaders drop initiatives the administration opposes.


J


ust as defense bill negotiations got under way on Capitol Hill in mid-July, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter sent a letter to House and Senate Armed Services committee leaders threatening a presidential veto over a list of 44 objections to various bill provisions. Carter said many proposals “would impact the department’s ability to oper- ate efficiently and effectively in this time of constrained resources and ongoing conflict.” “As they are currently drafted,” the let- ter continued, “the bills … threaten the proper balance of constitutional separa- tion of powers of the federal government.” Issues drawing Carter’s ire include the


House’s addition of $18 billion DoD didn’t request and taking those funds from the wartime operations account, which would require the new president to submit a re- quest for supplemental war appropriations. “[This] would buy excess manpower and equipment without the money to sustain them,” Carter said, “driving us toward the creation of hollow force structure, under- mining DoD’s efforts to restore readiness, and crowding out critical modernization in- vestments needed to deter adversaries who are themselves rapidly modernizing.” He also objected to proposals to reor- ganize and downsize DoD and reduce the number of generals and senior civilians. MOAA is pleased DoD objects to the


Senate-proposed housing-allowance cuts that would penalize dual-military couples


and junior enlisted servicemembers who take military roommates to save money. MOAA agrees with Carter’s statements that the proposal “would reinstate previously failed policies” and “disproportionately af- fect female servicemembers and military families in which both military members have chosen to serve their country.” However, MOAA strongly disagrees with the Carter letter’s objections to the:  House-approved increases in force lev- els for all services instead of the adminis- tration-proposed cuts;  House-approved 2.1-percent military pay raise rather than the 1.6-percent raise proposed in the DoD budget;  House’s refusal to impose dispropor- tional TRICARE fee increases recom- mended by DoD; and  Senate-approved plan to give more flex- ibility when moving spouses and families in conjunction with PCS moves to allow for work, education, or health issues.


Who Cares A


About TFL? MOAA takes on pundit over benefit priorities.


n Aug. 1 op-ed on Politico.com by Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and In-


ternational Studies, rightly took the Senate to task for proposing very large housing-al-


OCTOBER 2016 MILITARY OFFICER 29


Take Action Visit http://capwiz.com/ moaa/home to send your legislators a MOAA- suggested message on key issues affecting the military community.


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