NewsBytes June 24, 2022      

In this issue:
HASC Approves House NDAA
SCOTUS Keeps Unsafe Military Housing Lawsuit in State Courts
Armed Forces Voters Week
Korean Conflict

HASC Approves House NDAA
The House Armed Services Committee marked up and approved its version of the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA-H.R.7900), which would provide a $37 billion increase above the administration’s request for defense that includes $5.2 billion increase for military construction. None of the increased funding will go to increasing pay or benefits. Other provisions in the markup include:
• No new TRICARE fee increases;
• Prohibiting the DoD from realigning or reducing military medical end strength until additional analysis on the impacts is complete;
• Providing a 4.6 percent pay increase that keeps pace with civilian pay increases;
• Requiring DoD to brief the HASC before extending any privatized housing project;
• Requiring DoD to report on an improved calculation of BAH rates; and
• Authorizing $53 million to provide assistance to local educational agencies with military dependent students and $22 million to assist with students with severe disabilities.  

The HASC discussed concerns about an emerging recruitment crisis but offered no solutions. The FRA is thankful that the markup has no new TRICARE fee increases, prohibits drastic cuts to military medical staff, and provides additional oversight of privatizing military housing. The association is disappointed that the committee markups in both the House and Senate did not address concurrent receipt and is working to get floor amendments filed in the House and Senate. Members are urged to use the FRA Action Center to ask their legislators to support these floor amendments.

SCOTUS Keeps Unsafe Military Housing Lawsuit in State Courts
The U.S. Supreme Court recently rejected a bid from military housing contractors to have residents’ claims of unsafe conditions be heard in federal court, allowing the allegations to proceed in Hawaii state court. 

As first reported in the Jan. 14, 2022, NewsBytes, more than 9,000 military families in Hawaii have been stuck in hotels since November 2021 after jet fuel from underground storage tanks from the Red Hill Bulk Storage Facility leaked into a well that supplied water to their in-base homes.

The FY2023 Defense budget asks for $1 billion for expenses related to the fuel-tainted water in Hawaii. The money would address the continuing needs of military families, drain the fuel storage tanks and provide more cleanup. The new “Red Hill Recovery Fund” in the fiscal 2023 budget request is in addition to the $1 billion that Congress has already provided to deal with the effects of the fuel leak. The $1 billion flexible funding would allow DoD to start to address the draining of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, built in 1943, as well as address the needs of military families.

The residents of military housing on Oahu have filed a potential class-action lawsuit against their property management companies in Hawaii’s First Circuit Court, alleges that the companies failed to honor their residential leases, guaranteeing their tenants potable water and habitable housing. The plaintiffs opted to sue the property management companies, which have fewer legal protections than the federal government in liability cases.

Armed Forces Voters Week
The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) is sponsoring its biennial Armed Forces Voters Week from June 26 to July 3, with support from the Military Services, the Department of State, and other federal agencies. During this week, U.S. military installations, embassies, consulates, and overseas citizens groups offer voter registration opportunities to help Americans vote — wherever they are.

FVAP recommends military and overseas voters use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) at to register to vote and request an absentee ballot by Aug. 1 to ensure they can participate in the General Election on Nov. 8. The FPCA not only allows these voters to register and request an absentee ballot in one simple step, it also guarantees certain benefits under federal law.

Using the FPCA ensures that: 
• Ballots for Service members, their families, and overseas citizens will be sent out 45 days before elections for federal office (that’s September 24 for the November 8th election!).
• Voters can choose to receive their blank ballot electronically.
• Voters can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) as a backup ballot.

“For military and their family members stationed away from home and U.S. citizens living abroad, the absentee voting process can require more time and planning,” according to FVAP Acting Director Scott Wiedmann. “Many states require voters to update their registration and request an absentee ballot every year. In addition, state rules differ on how election materials can be submitted, in some cases, it’s only by mail, while others accept materials electronically (email, fax, or via an online portal).”

Voters can visit for their state’s specific voter registration and ballot request deadlines, as well as information on completing their FPCA, which is accepted by all states and territories. Voters can use FVAP’s easy online assistant at

The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) protects the voting rights of an estimated 3 million U.S. citizens living overseas, as well as Service members and their eligible family members. Specifically, about 75 percent of the 1.4 million active-duty military are eligible to vote absentee thanks the UOCAVA process because they are stationed away from their voting residence. For additional information, visit, email or call 1-800-438-VOTE (8683)/ DSN at (425) 1584 (CONUS)/(312) 425-1584 (OCONUS).

Korean Conflict
This week (June 25) marks the 72nd  anniversary of the North Korean invasion of South Korea. The Korean conflict, sometimes referred to as “the forgotten war” started when Communist North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950.  The United States suffered more than 35,000 combat deaths in the conflict. The FRA salutes veterans of the Korean Conflict.

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