East County News Service
April 24, 2016 (Washington D.C.) -- Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego), Ranking Member of Subcommittee on Military Personnel, included a number of policy provisions to increase benefits available to our men and women in uniform. The Subcommittee approved its portion of the working draft of the National Defense Authorization Act.
“The Subcommittee has worked in a bipartisan manner to craft the Personnel section of the NDAA to allow the services to recruit and retain service members and continue our commitment to taking care of our military families,” said Davis. “Moving forward, I will continue to work with my colleagues to improve on the benefits and services we provide our men and women in uniform.”
As the NDAA moves through the legislative process, Davis plans to work with her colleagues to add language to exclude the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) from the calculation to receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Many surviving spouses and military families are being denied SNAP benefits because the BAH, when included with their basic pay, makes them ineligible.
Davis will add language to require $25 million of the funding authorized for the Afghan Security Forces Fund go toward the recruitment, integration, retention, training and treatment of women in Afghan Security Forces.
Provisions Davis included in the NDAA:
- Expand parental leave in the military. This provision expands authority to provide adoption leave for the second parent for dual military couples. Davis plans to further expand these benefits in full committee.
- Increase access to infertility services for seriously wounded veterans. This provision directs the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretaries of the military departments, to implement a plan by December 1, 2016, to actively reach out to former members of the military who were seriously wounded, ill or injured and inform them of the infertility services available to them. Seriously wounded, ill or injured service members may be unaware of the services available to them after they depart the military.
- Restore the inurnment rights for Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) at Arlington National Cemetery, which were rescinded by the former Secretary of the Army. The bill incorporates the bipartisan WASP Arlington Inurnment Restoration (AIR) Act, which passed the full House in March. Davis was the lead cosponsor of the bill.
- Recognize the role of women in the military by authorizing the Secretary of Defense to provide financial support, subject to appropriation, for military service memorials and museums that highlight the role of women in the military.
The NDAA is scheduled to go before the full House Armed Services Committee the week of April 25.
Links to Subcommittee Marks:
Congresswoman Davis represents the 53rd Congressional District, which includes central San Diego, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and parts of El Cajon and Chula Vista. She is a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, serving as the Ranking Member of the Military Personnel Subcommittee. She also serves on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.