Weekly newsletter of the Fleet Reserve Association

December 15 2017


In this issue:
FRA Urges Congress Not to Pass Another CR 
VA ID Card Applications Suspended
FRA Has a New Video
TRICARE Article on Upcoming Changes
Headquarters Holiday Closures

FRA Urges Congress Not to Pass Another CR 
FRA and other members of The Military Coalition have dispatched a letter to key Congressional lawmakers asking them to pass the FY2018 Defense Appropriations before the current Continuing Resolution (CR) funding expires December 22, 2017. Another CR only extends FY2017 spending levels and would stymie the Armed Forces ability to grow, equip and train the total force necessary to meet growing international threats. The letter reminds legislators that we are a nation at war, our uniform services are suffering from dangerous readiness and force-structure issues and the total force cannot remain effective, absent an adequate and timely budget.

The letter also mentions problems caused by sequestration (automatic across the board) cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011, which sets strict caps on both defense and non-defense spending. In the past, Congress managed to make short-term compromises, lifting the caps for a couple of years at a time. No such agreement applies to FY2018. In related news, the President signed the FY2018 Defense Authorization Act (H.R.2810) into law. In order to be fully implemented, Congress must pass appropriations legislation and must change or eliminate sequestration defense spending caps. Members are strongly urged to use the FRA Action to ask their legislators to exclude Defense from sequestration.

VA Suspends Applications for New VA ID Card
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has stopped accepting applications for the new VA identification card due to technical problems created by the large volume of applications. This story was originally reported in the December 1 edition of NewsBytes. The ID card, authorized by Congress in 2015, is free of charge and is intended to provide proof of military service in lieu of a veteran having to carry their DD-214. FRA will monitor the VA and let Shipmates know when the technical problems are resolved. 

FRA Has a New Video
Be sure to check out the new video on Fleet Reserve Association's YouTube page or our Facebook page. We are enlisting your help in sharing it on your Branch page and social media platforms. Thank you for your support.   

TRICARE Article on Upcoming Changes
The December issue of FRAtoday has a lead feature, authored by the Defense Health Agency, that outline all the changes coming in TRICARE. TRICARE FOR LIFE will not be impacted by any of the changes. The impacts will be only to those who are age 65 and younger.

FRA Headquarters Holiday Closures
FRA National Headquarters (NHQ) staff wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, a safe and joyous holiday and a very happy 2018! Our offices will be closed Friday, December 22, 2017 for Christmas, and will reopen on Tuesday, December 26, 2017. NHQ will also be closed on December 29, 2017 in observance of New Year's Day and will reopen Monday, January 2, 2018. Due to the holiday schedule, the next edition of FRA Newsbytes will be Friday, January 5, 2018.




NewsBytes is FRA's weekly legislative update. If you received this through a forward and would like to subscribe, please e-mail us  and include your name and contact information in the body of e-mail. If you are a member of FRA or LA FRA, please include your member number.

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