Senate Takes Up National Defense Authorization Act

Yesterday the Senate began debate and consideration of S.3254, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 

The managers of the bill and ranking members on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ) brought the bill to the floor in the hopes that they could move through the bill within three days.

Levin and McCain asked that their fellow colleagues in the Senate to work with them in order to use the defense policy bill as a "model" for the way the Senate should do business. However, over 200 amendments thus far have been offered to the bill, and both Levin and McCain are working overtime to figure out which amendments will be considered on the floor. 

This afternoon, Senator Levin indicated his hope to move the bill along and gain a final vote on the bill tomorrow afternoon. If this happens, it will continue the 50 year tradition of consecutive passage of the National Defense Authorization Act.

The following amendments will be important for the Guard: 

  • Amendment # 2946, offered by Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE): Requires a state to consider military training in granting certain state certifications and licenses as a condition on the receipt of funds for veterans employment and trainin
  • Amendment # 2947, offered by Sen. Pryor (D-AR), Sen. Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Boozman (R-AR) and Sen. Snowe (R-ME): Recognizes as a veteran certain members of the reserve component entitled under chapter 1223 of title 10 to retired pay for non-regular service or, but for age, would be entitled under such chapter to retired pay for non-regular service but shall not be entitled to any benefit by reason of this section
  • Amendment # 2951, offered by Sen. Begich (D-AK), Sen. Manchin (D-WV), Sen. Hutchison (R-TX), Sen. Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Merkley (D-OR): Prohibits the Army from divesting, retiring, transferring, or preparing to divest, retire, or transfer, any of the 38 C–23 aircraft assigned to the Army as of October 1, 2012 and would require that they remain operationally viable during FY13
  • Amendment # 2957, offered by Sen. Webb (D-VA): Requires all schools to be Title IV compliant, with specific exceptions permitted, in order to be eligible for GI Bill or Tuition Assistance funding
  • Amendment # 2960, offered by Sen. Wyden (D-OR): Authorizes a needed study to determine whether home station demobilization and retention on active duty at home for a short period thereafter supported by local medical and community services would improve the reintegration process for our National Guard members and their families
  • Amendment # 2997, offered by Sen. Casey (D-PA) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT): Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to establish, as part of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), a Transition Assistance Advisor (TAA) program to provide professionals in each state to serve as statewide points of contact to assist members of the armed forces in accessing benefits and health care and ensures that the minimum number of Transition Assistance Advisors are available in each state
  • Amendment # 3017, offered by Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI): Authorizes cost-sharing rates for the pharmacy benefits program of the TRICARE program (Note: Adopts House Language)
  • Amendment # 3037, offered by Sen. Brown (R-MA): Proposes alternative authorities relating to rates of basic allowance for housing for National Guard members on full-time National Guard duty Amendment # 3186, offered by Sen. Coburn (R-OK): Requiring a study on the Army’s, and by extension the Army National Guard’s, acquisition of small arms and ammunition  and an assessment of the Department of Defense’s current plans to modernize its small arms capabilities

The National Guard Association needs you to help out to get the message to the hill to support important National Guard amendments to the NDAA. Follow the link to send a message to your congressional members.

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