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Washington Update for 12/19/2019




TREA "The Enlisted Association" Washington Update



TREA "The Enlisted Association" Washington Update



Summary of FY 2020 NDAA



NDAA passes HOUSE by 377-48 vote, Senate by 86-8 vote,
Trump states he will sign

TREA worked hard on many provisions in the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Bill including:

  1. 3-year phased in elimination of widow's tax; For decades, military families have tried to change a policy that has kept about 65,000 surviving military spouses nationwide from receiving their full survivor benefits. The proposal would eliminate, over the course of three years, a system by which survivor compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs is deducted from annuities provided by the Defense Department-funded Survivor Benefit Plan. Under the phased elimination, the first change would occur in 2021, when SBP recipients would begin receiving one-third of the offset amount. The following year, the amount would be raised to two-thirds; and in 2023, survivors would receive their full SBP monthly payments in addition to DIC.
  1. 3.1 % pay raise for troops; This is the largest basic pay increase in a decade.
  1. Parental leave for federal workers; Federal employees would be eligible for 12 weeks of paid leave following the birth or an adoption of a child.
  1. New policies for DOD to prevent sexual assault; DOD to develop a comprehensive policy to improve the prevention of sexual assault involving service members. It would include training, promoting recognition of behaviors that often lead to sexual assault-such as sexist jokes, hazing, and sexual harassment-and addressing alcohol abuse and binge drinking. Each military department would have to implement programs based on the DOD policy.
  1. Burn pits and toxic exposure; DOD to ensure members of the armed forces stationed at a location where an open burn pit was used, or exposed to toxic airborne chemicals or contaminants, receive appropriate physical examinations. DOD directed to track service members' exposure to occupational and environmental health risks during deployment. A separate provision requires inclusion of blast exposure in service members' records. DOD to test for potential exposure to PFAS for all DOD firefighters during their annual physicals.
  1. GI Bill benefits transfer; DOD is prohibited from limiting eligibility to transfer unused Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to family members based on a maximum number of years of service.
  1. Reimbursement of licensing fees for spouses; Doubles, to $1,000, the reimbursement amount for professional relicensing costs of spouses of service members who have been reassigned. The reimbursement authority would be extended for two years, through 2024.
  1. Medical malpractice; Authorize claims by service members or their representatives in cases of injury or death caused by medical malpractice of a Defense Department health care provider and create an administrative process to adjudicate them. Claims would have to be presented within two years. The provision would take effect in 2020.

This will also be posted on TREA's Facebook page. If you have questions or comments, please email






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