Apr 29 2014
WASHINGTON- The House Armed Services Committee today released legislative language scheduled to be considered by the Subcommittee on Military Personnel at their markup tomorrow. By releasing the legislative language, Chairman McKeon is complying with House disclosure rules and overseeing the most transparent process in Congress for composing national security legislation.>>View the Military Personnel Subcommittee Mark (PDF)Led by subcommittee Chairman Joe Wilson (R-SC), the proposal is a vital portion of the larger National Defense Authorization Act, supporting and protecting our warfighters with the care and benefits they need, deserve, and have earned; while hedging against the chance that defense cuts erode the sacred trust between our warfighters and the American people. Specifically, this year's proposal will:
• Continue to address the troubling prevalence of suicide within the military community. While the Committee is cautiously optimistic about the recent decline in suicide rates in the force as a whole, the increase in suicides among the Special Operations Force and new information on suicide for immediate military family members is deeply troubling. The Committee requires additional reporting on suicide rates for immediate family members of active and reserve forces and an assessment by the Secretary of Defense of the increase in suicides among special operators.
• Continue robust oversight and reform of the military’s handling of sexual assault. This includes reporting requirements updating Congress on progress in implementing the dozens of reforms included in the FY12, 13 and 14 NDAA. It also includes new reforms spearheaded by Reps Turner (R-OH) and Tsongas (D-MA),including as part of every commander’s performance appraisal - an assessment of the handling of sexual assault cases and how unit members treat those making sexual assault allegations.
• Rejects proposals that would have increased out-of-pocket costs for military families, including the elimination of most TRICARE plans, and reduction of housing allowances and commissary benefits. The proposal requires outside experts to review and assess the commissary program to identify efficiencies that could lead to cost savings without reducing military family benefits.
• Requires GAO to review and report on all DoD ethics programs.
• Supports Military Health Care, monitors the restructuring of the military health system and Defense Health Agency and tasks the GAO with examining DHA structure. The proposal requires a review by the Comptroller General of policies governing the transfer of TBI and PTSD patients from DoD to the VA to ensure continuity of treatment plans and medications. The proposal prohibits the Secretary from restructuring Military Treatment Facilities until he reports on the methodologies used to identify facilities that will loose capacity. GAO is also tasked with an examination of this methodology.
The legislative text, descriptive section-by-section analysis, and directive report language can be found on the Committee Repository or on the NDAA Subcommittee Marks page.