Even the most generous legislative proposals privately approved by the Pentagon are insufficient to address this growing problem, critics in Congress and among advocacy groups have said.
The inflation bonus, for one thing, only covers 2023, they said. And, more importantly, the Basic Needs Allowance is a pilot program that requires housing allowances to be included in the calculation of income, a stipulation that results in the exclusion of most service members who need help, according to several lawmakers from both parties.
“In high-cost areas like San Diego, the Basic Housing Allowance barely covers the cost of rent – so it’s ludicrous to treat it as income and create the illusion that service members and their families earn too much money to qualify for other benefits,” Rep. Sara Jacobs, D-California, a member of the House Armed Services Committee who has championed expansive income assistance for the military, told CQ Roll Call in a statement. “We know that in reality military families are still struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table; they have already made incredible sacrifices for our country and the least we can do is to make sure they know where their next meal is coming from.
Similarly, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, former Speaker of the House Republican Conference, also opposes the inclusion of housing allowance in a service member’s income for purposes of determining relief. revenue.
McMorris Rodgers and California Democrat Jimmy Panetta, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, drafted a law this year (HR 9069) that would require payment for a military member’s housing to be excluded from the calculation of Needs Allowance income. basic.