Bill includes key improvements to military retirement championed by Heck
(Greg Lemon) – WASHINGTON – Congressman Joe Heck (NV-03) today backed House passage of the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 1735 – National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2016. The NDAA is the primary mechanism through which Congress “provides for the common defense” and authorizes the budget authority of the Department of Defense and the national security programs of the Department of Energy.
Rep. Heck spoke on the House floor to urge passage of the Conference Report. Those remarks can be seen by clicking the image below.
“Supporting the men and women who volunteer to pick up a weapon, stand a post, and guard the freedoms and liberties that make our nation great is a primary function of the federal government – ‘to provide for the common defense.'”
“If the President follows through with his veto threat, service members and their families will be deprived of these significant improvements to their compensation and quality of life.”
“The President has threatened to veto this conference report…I understand that he has urged some of my colleagues to vote no today. I want to make sure my colleagues know some of what they would be voting against: A new retirement plan that provides options and portable retirement benefits for individuals who serve less than twenty years, roughly 83% of the force; A pay raise for our military men and women along with many special pays and bonuses that are critical to maintaining the all-volunteer force….”
Rep. Heck’s full remarks, as prepared, can be read here.
As chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel (MILPERS), Rep. Heck took a leading role in crafting the improvements to our military’s retirement structure contained in the final FY16 NDAA Conference Report. Those improvements establish a new 401(k)-style retirement benefit for service members, providing retirement benefits for those serving less than 20 years for the first time. This improvement ensures our nation provides for those currently in uniform while allowing us to recruit and retain the very best talent available.
In addition, the Conference Report includes key personnel-related provisions such as:
- maintaining the current structure of the commissary system while allowing the Department of Defense the flexibility to explore innovations to improve this valuable benefit.
- directing a joint uniform formulary between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs for medications to treat psychiatric conditions, sleep disorders, and pain management to ensure transitioning veterans continue to receive the best care when they leave military service.
- enhancing protections for sexual assault victims, including expanding access to special victims counsel, protecting victims from retaliation, and improving the military rules of evidence.
- raising pay for our military men and women along with many special pay and bonuses that are critical to maintaining the all-volunteer force.
Congressman Joe Heck represents Nevada’s Third Congressional District in the House of Representatives. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.