Election’s Over and the Turkey Leftovers are Gone—Now Get to Work

In the aftermath of the November 6 election results, we posted a congratulatory message to re-elected President Obama and members of the new 113th Congress:

“Congratulations President Obama and members of the new 113th Congress. Our country faces challenging times and there is a lot of work to be done. We’ll make every effort to ensure our elected leaders honor the sacrifices of military families by providing them the Nation’s highest level of care and involvement. The National Military Family Association will continue to work with the President and members of Congress, as we have since 1969, to make sure caring for military families remains a priority.”

In that message, we wanted to emphasize our long history of working with administration officials and Congress. We also felt it important to point out that multiple, important tasks face our elected officials and military families expect these priorities to be addressed.

Our elected officials, starting with the lame duck 112th Congress that returned to town briefly before heading home for Thanksgiving, must work together to pass the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, a tough task given that the Senate did not even bring its version to the floor before Congress recessed to campaign. They must pass a Defense Appropriations Act for FY 2013 rather than force DoD to continue operating under a Continuing Resolution.

Once again, they need to stop a looming payment cut to doctors who take Medicare and TRICARE so that military families don’t have to add whether their doctor will continue to care for them to their worry list.

And our leaders must decide what—if anything—they will do about the approaching Fiscal Cliff.

We are encouraged by the reported progress of post-election meetings between the President, administration officials, and Congressional leaders on addressing the tax and sequestration concerns that if unsolved will lead us off the Fiscal Cliff. Fixing these issues is part of all elected leaders’ job descriptions. When coming up with their solutions, we hope they remember:

  • Our Nation—and our military—are still fighting a war!!
  • Military families depend on both DoD and community safety nets: proposed sequestration cuts to schools and programs like WIC will affect military families, too!
  • Ending deadlock and addressing the issues our Nation faces in a collaborative way should not be regarded by our Nation’s leaders as just a nice campaign promise but an urgent call to action.
  • The national debt is a national security issue and sequestration only reduces that debt by less than 10%–solving the deficit issue will take sacrifice and commitment from all Americans.

Our Association will continue to listen to military families, respond to their questions and concerns, and be their voice to help our elected officials understand the issues most important to them. We offer ourselves as a resource for our Nation’s leaders and also pledge to help military families understand the complex issues facing our Nation.

What do you expect of our Nation’s leaders as they get back to work?

Posted by Joyce Raezer, Executive Director at the
National Military Family Association

6 responses to “Election’s Over and the Turkey Leftovers are Gone—Now Get to Work

  1. Tom E. Rottscheit

    I would suggest our leaders in Washington D. C. stop thinking about the 2014 and 2016 elections and deal with the issues of today. Failure to do this should place them in the unemployment line.

  2. My expectations of our Nation’s leaders is to stop wasting time on the Benghazi situation as the intelligence community is handling that issue. They must to resolve the problem with unemployment before our servicemembers return from the war zone and they separate from the military. I expect a better system in place for the transition from military to the civilian world and this will involve addressing the lack of communication between the Dept. of Defense and the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. There is a real disconnect here and our Veterans continue to suffer after they have returned from the battlefield. Definitive resolution to our national debt/budget must be addressed and I intend to keep contacting my district’s elected official and hold him/her accountable.

  3. Ms. Raezer, how do you feel about the provision in this year’s NDAA that states that persons lawfully in the U.S. can be detained under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force [AUMF], and actually expands the AUMF to American citizens?

    • Thank you for your response to our post on the urgent tasks facing our Nation’s leaders. The National Defense Authorization Act is a very large piece of legislation and the focus of our legislative work on behalf of military service members and their families is on those provisions that have an impact on their financial, community, and health well-being and on the support provided to families dealing with the effects of more than a decade at war. The provision you reference is not within the scope of our expertise or our mission and so our Association has not taken a position on it. I hope you have communicated with your elected representatives in Congress with your concerns or questions about the provision.

  4. I can only hope that in time we can get rid of our subjective breed bans in military housing and give our families clear and consistent pet policies. We should also provide our military families pet education and hold troops accountable for pet abandonment. Here’s our petition with more information. http://www.change.org/petitions/standardize-military-pet-policies

  5. I expect exactly that – for our Nation’s leaders to GET BACK TO WORK! I was appalled that they took the Christmas holiday break while our Nation is hanging on a Fiscal Cliff they built. Our service members are deployed around the globe to support and defend at the pleasure of our Congress, but they thought they deserved a holiday with their families? That really struck a nerve in me, as the sacrifice and commitment required of all Americans should start with our Nation’s leaders. They should lead from the front in this. Military families know sacrifice already – I know a 10 year old whose daddy is gone for a 4th Christmas of her young life. It is a shame to me that Congress left town at such a critical time.

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