2-22-13

FRA Focuses on Major Threats to Benefits

FRA’s top 2013 priority is to protect military and veterans benefit programs, which are threatened by automatic budget cuts required by the 2011 Budget Control Act (sequestration) and the possible enactment of another continuing resolution (CR). Major Department of Defense (DoD) budget cuts will occur on March 1st unless Congress acts to identify alternative reductions and the current CR, which limits federal spending at FY 2012 levels, expires on March 27th. 

“These two deadlines have the potential to be the ‘perfect storm,’ impacting compensation and benefits, particularly for military personnel and retirees,” says Joe Barnes, FRA’s national executive director. “Half of the sequestration budget cuts must come from the DoD and there is serious concern these reductions will not only negatively impact readiness, but also compromise pay, healthcare, retirement and other quality-of-life benefits earned through military service.  The Association is also closely monitoring how the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) budget will be impacted, especially as it relates to those receiving VA medical care and disability compensation.”

In a recent FRA online survey, more than 81 percent of the 1,893 current and former service members who participated said they were “very concerned” about sweeping cuts to the federal budget. Comments made by survey respondents reflected frustration and anxiety over the uncertainty of military and veteran benefit programs, many of which referenced the nation’s need to honor its commitments to those who served in the past.

FRA is urging its members and others to express their concerns about sequestration with the White House, their U.S. representatives and senators via the FRA Action Center