House Passes NDAA -- SASC Completes Markup
The House passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and the Senate Armed Services Committee completed its markup on the Senate’s version. The Senate is expected to debate and vote on its NDAA in July. The bill will then go into conference in August and September.
Certain items are contained in both the House and Senate Bill, which means that there is a high probability of them becoming law. These include:
1) Access to TRICARE Reserve Select for gray area retirees, permitting buy-into TRICARE Reserve Select for both individual and family coverage. The new program would commence on 1 October 2009. Depending on the time it takes to pass the NDAA, and appeals from the administration, this effective date might change. It will be up to the Secretary of Defense to determine the cost, but it will have to be based on an “appropriate actuarial basis”.
Note: Gray area access to TRA has always been a top priority for ROA. The Association introduced this issue as a goal to The Military Coalition. It will have taken only 16 months from introduction of the bill by Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) for it to become law, but it took a collective effort. The Military Officers Association of America researched and suggested language, which ROA and other associations helped rewrite. Credit needs to be shared with National Guard Association of the United States, the Naval Reserve Association, and the Fleet Reserve Association as well as support from other associations within both The Military Coalition and the National Military and Veterans Alliance for its swift passage.
2) Both the House and Senate provide over $550 billion for the base defense budget, and another $130 billion for overseas contingency operations such as Iraq and Afghanistan. The White House has said that funding for overseas operations will have to be included in the base budget in the future.
3) Both bills allow for a 3.4 percent pay raise on January 1, 2010.
4) If sufficient funding is available, both bills will authorize the Secretary of Defense to authorize an additional 30,000 increase in active duty end strength for the Army between FY 2011 and 2012.
5) The authorization will also provide eligibility under the TRICARE dental program for survivors of a service member killed on active duty.
ROA will continue to study and compare the two bills, with additional provisions being identified. Future alerts will include updates.
CAPT, USNR (Ret.)
Director, Legislative and Military Policy
Reserve Officers Association
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