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Washington update for 8/9/2019 - SBP/DIC Offset Update

SBP/DIC Offset Update -- More Members Cosponsor bills than ever before

TREA continues to support efforts and urges Congress to pass legislation to allow military retiree survivors to receive full Survivor Benefit Plan benefits. H.R. 553 (352 cosponsors) in the House and S. 622 (75 cosponsors) in the Senate would end the deduction of Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuities from Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) paid to survivors of fallen service members, also known as the "widows tax."

The SBP law includes a dollar-for-dollar offset of DIC from SBP, called the SBP/DIC offset, for surviving spouses of retired service members who voluntarily participated in the insurance annuity program, paid premiums, and then died of a service-connected issue. Post-9/11 active duty surviving spouses also are impacted. The offset affects more than 60,000 military surviving spouses. 

National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) The Senate passed S. 1790, its version of the National Defense Authorization Act without the SBP/DIC provisions. The House passed its version, H.R. 2500 with the SBP/DIC offset elimination provisions. Differences will be resolved in a House/Senate Conference Committee in September.

TREA Members we need your help – The House version of the NDAA includes the offset elimination – the Senate version does not contain the provision.

It is urgent that you Contact your Senators – and urge them to support and retain the House NDAA provisions eliminating the SBP/DIC offset.  Please contact them now!!

 

President Signs two-year Government Spending and National Debt Limit Bill

The President signed a two-year bipartisan agreement to hike government spending and extend the national debt limit, bringing months of talks to prevent a U.S. default. But this year’s budget work still isn’t finished, with senators lacking any of the 12 appropriations bills that must be passed by Sept. 30 to avert another government shutdown.

The legislation extends the debt limit until after the 2020 election and authorizes additional federal spending. The Senate passed the legislation by a 67-28 margin, a week after the House voted 284-149 to support it.

The measure suspends the U.S. debt limit through July 31, 2021, eliminating the risk of a default until then. It also sets budget caps for two years that will allow $324 billion in additional domestic and defense funding above current spending cap levels.

Congress will still need to pass spending bills in September adhering to the new $1.3 trillion spending cap to avoid another federal shutdown when the next fiscal year begins Oct. 1. The House already passed 10 of 12 appropriations bills, including those that fund the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. The Senate has not completed action on any of its 12 spending bills, so a short-term measure extending current funding is likely, for at least some government agencies.

TREA members contact your Senators and urge them to complete action of the 12 appropriations bills and highlight the need to adequately fund the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs,

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