News from Congressman Mike Turner U.S. Congressman Michael Turner
|Honoring those Who Gave the Ultimate Sacrifice this Memorial Day
Each year on Memorial Day, we honor the men and women of our military who fought and paid the ultimate price for our Nation’s defense. As Americans, we often take our freedom for granted, but we should never forget those whose sacrifice made our freedom possible. As we pay tribute to those who served, I want to reaffirm my commitment to upholding the promises our Nation has made to its active duty service personnel, military veterans, and their families.
This month, the House passed the annual National Defense Authorization Act (HR 4310). As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, I worked closely with members of the Committee to craft a bipartisan bill that advances our national security objectives, establishes a robust national missile defense, and ensures that veterans and their families maintain access to the care and benefits they have earned through their service. This bill protects veterans and military families from a proposal by the Obama administration to increase most TRICARE enrollment fees and co-pays, and prevents the Administration from implementing new fees.
Under the Budget Control Act of 2011, across-the-board cuts known as a “sequester,” are scheduled to take effect next January, due to the failure of the bipartisan “super committee” to agree on a plan to cut federal spending. I voted against this law, which raised the federal debt ceiling and created the so-called “super committee,” because these cuts would place our national security at risk and have a detrimental effect on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and our regional economy. Funding for the Department of Defense will be slashed by $500 billion, and certain domestic programs face an automatic eight percent across-the-board cut. The federal government must learn to live within its means and balance its budget, but our servicemen and women and their families need not shoulder the burden for Washington’s failure to budget responsibly.
Missing In American Project: WHIO-TV
On May 10, 2012, the House passed, with my support, legislation that protects veterans programs from the sequestration and prevents these catastrophic cuts to our military (HR 5652). I have also cosponsored legislation (HR 1297) that prioritizes spending to ensure that our service members continue to receive their paychecks in the event of a government shutdown or if the debt ceiling is reached. Our troops risk their lives each day to serve our country and protect our national interests. The last thing they need to worry about is whether or not their paychecks will come home to their families on time.
The Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) is now accepting applications from unemployed veterans aged 35-60, who may qualify for up to twelve months of training to learn a new skill or trade under the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty program. The VRAP is part of a new law, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which I cosponsored to help move unemployed veterans out of the unemployment lines and into the workforce. To learn more about the VRAP program, call 1-800-827-1000, or visit: http://www.benefits.va.gov/vow.
This Memorial Day, let us honor the millions who answered their country’s call to duty, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice—the men and women of our armed forces who have made America the land of the free and the home of the brave.