Letter sent to:
U.S. Senators: Reid, McConnell, Inouye, Cochran, Johnson, and Hutchison
U.S. House of Representatives: Pelosi, Boehner, Obey, Lewis, Edwards, and Wamp
11 February 2008
On behalf of the more than 105,000 members of the Association of the United States Army, I write to urge that in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan (HR1) conference, you recede to the House amounts for Department of Defense spending and the Senate amounts for Veterans Affairs spending. These funding levels will improve the quality of life for our service members and veterans, and will provide jobs in areas surrounding military communities.
The Association also urges retention of two provisions in the Senate version of the legislation. One would provide a $300 tax rebate to all VA disability compensation recipients and all Social Security annuitants. The other would provide Homeowner Assistance Program relief (normally available only at BRAC locations) to military homeowners and wounded warriors who are being reassigned or disability retired and who cannot sell their homes without significant financial loss. Further, we urge negotiators to change the home purchase date for purposes of the military Homeowner Assistance Program from July 1, 2006 to 1 July 2008. The Association also urges restoration during conference of education monies for military impact aid originally in the Senate version of the legislation.
Stabilizing and strengthening the American economy while improving living conditions and health care facilities for military personnel and veterans is vital. AUSA is particularly gratified that additional funding is planned for military hospitals. The current aging infrastructure does a disservice to the military personnel and their families who give so much to this country and deserve world-class medical facilities. Further, providing additional money for troop housing, child care, Reserve Component support and BRAC as well as veterans medical facilities address long-time AUSA goals. Our association stands ready to assist in any way to ensure passage of this important addition to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.
GORDON R. SULLIVAN
General, USA Retired