VFW WASHINGTON WEEKLY
April 29, 2011
In This Issue:
1. Congress Returns to Budget Battle
2. Senior Official Nominations
3. TRICARE Young Adult Enrollment Begins May 1
4. WWII MIA Identified
1. Congress Returns to Budget Battle: Congress returns next week from their two-week recess. Among the items on the agenda is the FY 2012 Budget. Senate leadership plans to debate and possibly vote on a proposed budget written by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), which was passed by the House prior to the recess. The plan, H Con Res 34, has been the talk of many town hall meetings during the district work period. VFW will be monitoring any and all provisions that may affect veterans and our active duty guard and reserve members. The proposal is a blueprint for Congressional spending, but is not a law, and therefore can be changed and/or amended at any time during the budget/appropriations process. If passed by the Senate, depending on whether or not there are changes, it may need to go through a conference committee, and then back to both houses for a vote.
2. Senior Official Nominations:
The president announced yesterday his intention to nominate CIA Director Leon Panetta to replace retiring Defense Secretary Robert Gates; Army Gen. David Petraeus to replace Panetta at CIA; to bring former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker out of retirement to become the new U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan; and to have Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John Allen, currently the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, replace the retiring Petraeus as commander of all U.S. and International Security Forces in Afghanistan. The moves are just four of several to be announced this spring and summer. The nominations require Senate confirmation.
For the WH Press statement: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=63742
3. TRICARE Young Adult Enrollment Begins May 1:
Unmarried uniformed service dependents under 26, and not eligible for their own employer-sponsored health care coverage, may be qualified to purchase TRICARE Young Adult (TYA) insurance beginning May 1. TYA will offer TRICARE Standard coverage for monthly premiums of $186; a premium-based TRICARE Prime benefit will be available later this year. The signing of the National Defense Authorization Act in January 2011 brought TRICARE in line with the provisions of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. For more information or to enroll, go to http://www.tricare.mil/mediacenter/news.aspx?fid=706
4. WWII MIA Identified:
The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced the identification of remains belonging to Army Air Forces Pfc. Mervyn E. Sims, 23, of Petaluma, CA. On April 24, 1943, Sims and four crewmembers aboard a C-87 Liberator Express departed China on a six-hour "Hump" mission over the Himalayas to India. The aircraft never arrived at its destination. No evidence of the aircraft was found until 2003, when an American citizen found aircraft wreckage in the mountains east of Chabua. India. Read more at http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=14433