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?