Snyder, Lincoln push benefits for Guard, Reservists | Arkansas Blog

Friday, September 29, 2006

Snyder, Lincoln push benefits for Guard, Reservists

Posted By on Fri, Sep 29, 2006 at 4:50 PM

U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder gets attention from a prominent military affairs columnist for urging defense officials during a contentious congressional hearing to increase benefits for National Guard and Reserve soldiers under the Montgomery G.I. Bill (MGIB). U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln also is cited for her role in sponsoring an amendment to enhance MGIB benefits for reservists that the Bush administration is opposing.

When active duty members leave service, they take along MGIB benefits. Reserve benefits can only be used while they remain in drill status.

“How is it fair when two members serve side by side in combat, they return home together, both leave the service, but one will have education benefits [and] the other will not have any?" asked Snyder. “This seems to me to be unconscionable.” ...

It’s also true, Snyder said, that the Bush administration has not asked for money to adjust Reserve MGIB. On Oct. 1, when active duty benefits go up once again, Reserve MGIB benefits will stay frozen and their value, relative to active duty MGIB, will fall to 27 percent.

“Shouldn’t we at least bring that benefit up to where it was at the time the program was [established],” Snyder asked Michael L. Dominguez, principal deputy under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness. ...

“If we look at our recruiting and retention numbers, we’re achieving the purposes for which the program was intended,” said Dominguez, a 1975 West Point graduate. For five years, until last July, he served as assistant secretary of the Air Force for manpower and reserve affairs.

Following that logic, an angry Snyder told Dominguez, if the Reserve MGIB “deteriorates to three percent of the [active duty] benefit…or one percent, you’re going to be perfectly satisfied as long as Americans are stepping forward and signing enlistment contracts for reasons for patriotism, family heritage, for love of country. You don’t care where that benefit deteriorates to…I think you stepped in it, Mr. Secretary.” ...

The Senate, in its version of the 2007 defense authorization bill, adopted an amendment from Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) that would give Reserve MGIB benefits the same portability as active duty MGIB, a 10-year window to use benefits after separation. The House bill was silent on the issue. Odds were seen as slim the Lincoln provision would survive a House-Senate conference committee ironing out differences between the two bills.

The Bush administration, in opposing the Lincoln provision, also pointed to projected costs of $1.5 billion over 10 years and urged a delay on any changes to benefits until a joint VA-Department of Defense task force completes a comprehensive review of MGIB issues.

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

More by Warwick Sabin

  • Helena's disappearing buildings

    Preservationists hope to slow demolitions.
    • Mar 22, 2007
  • Trailers headed to Dumas

    Gov. Mike Beebe issued the following statement earlier today: Although this decision by FEMA to deny emergency funds to Desha County defies common sense, Arkansas will take care of its own people.
    • Mar 9, 2007
  • Youth Ranch robbed, vandalized

    According to a press release we just received: The Donald W. Reynolds Campus of the Arkansas Sheriff’s Youth Ranches (The Ranch) located near Fort Smith was vandalized overnight Thursday.  Items stolen during the break-in included all of the children’s saddles, food, tools and supplies from The Ranch’s carpentry shop and all equipment from its auto shop.  An investigation is underway with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office.
    • Mar 9, 2007
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • Is Arkansas in or out on Kobach voter data effort?

    The Washington Post has published a map that counts Arkansas as among states that will "partially comply" with a sweeping request for voter data by the so-called election integrity commission set up by Donald Trump in an effort to cast doubt on Hillary Clinton's 3 million-vote popular defeat of him in 2016.
    • Jul 2, 2017
  • John Goodson and others add lawyers for hearing on forum shopping

    Lawyers facing federal court sanctions for forum shopping a class action insurance case have brought in new legal guns from out of state to fight potential sanctions.
    • May 26, 2016

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation