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Rep. Schrader Votes in Support of National Defense Authorization for Fiscal Year 2020


For Immediate Release

December 11th, 2019

Contact: Larkin Parker, 202-225-5711

Rep. Schrader Votes in Support of National Defense Authorization for Fiscal Year 2020

Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-05) voted for the National Defense Authorization for Fiscal Year 2020 Act today which included his amendment that creates retirement pay protections for service members who have suffered serious injuries after being involuntary called back to service. The overall defense package includes a pay raise for service members, provides key reforms for military housing and infrastructure improvements, phases out the Widow’s Tax, finally deals with the military’s sexual assault problem, and secures twelve weeks paid parental leave for civilian federal employees.

“While this bill still spends too much on a bloated military budget, it has some big wins for our servicemen and women, their families, and veterans back home in Oregon,” said Rep. Schrader. “It includes a 3.1 percent pay raise for our brave service members, improves the reporting and investigative procedures for sexual assault, domestic violence and harassment cases and authorizes key reforms and remedies for inferior base housing.  It also sets parameters and boundaries for the executive branch with regard to its dealings with Russia, China, and North Korea.  However, I am disappointed that language to repeal the outdated 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force was eliminated from the final version of this bill. After nearly two decades of war in the Middle East, it is high time for Congress to reassert our role in this incredibly important national conversation. I am hopeful under Chairman Smith’s leadership that provisions to repeal this outdated AUMF will be included in next year’s bill.”

After three years, Rep. Schrader’s Recalled Veterans Protection Act (RVPA) amendment was included in the final version of the bill. This amendment creates retirement pay protections for service members who have suffered serious injuries after being involuntary called back to service. Congressman Schrader began this initiative after hearing from a constituent, Sergeant First Class Alan Certain who sustained injuries that rated him 100% service-connected disabled when he was involuntarily recalled after serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom. Upon his retirement in 2014, Certain should have begun to receive retirement pay. However, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) has withheld his retirement checks until he returns the VSI amount in full. Rep. Schrader’s RVPA amendment provides DOD with the authority to waive these repayments for veterans when they sustain a total service-related injury during involuntary recall.

 

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