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Congresswoman Ellmers has the honor of representing the center of the universe for the United States Army -- Fort Bragg. Fort Bragg is home to the Airborne and Special Operation Forces, making it the largest army installation in the country. Pope Airfield is another crucial component of Fort Bragg, providing critical air support for the forces located on post. She recognizes that we must do everything we can to aid the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country, and she is proud to represent a military population of 56,697.
Congresswoman Ellmers is a strong supporter of the US military, its service members and their families. She fights to maintain military benefits and funding, so that our men and women can continue to receive the highest-quality training allowing our country to remain the dominant military force in the world.
The Congresswoman will continue to protect those who serve our country, as it is imperative they have the resources necessary to train, mobilize, and deploy our armed forces at a moment’s notice.
H.R. 4101 - The Timely Information Management Enforcement Act (TIME Act) - Congresswoman Ellmers introduced this legislation on February 26, 2014 to address the inconsistency and untimeliness in TRICARE's notification policy when changes are made to a military family or veteran’s insurance coverage. This legislation protects TRICARE beneficiaries from having changes in their coverage occur without their knowledge and requires TRICARE to notify the affected parties no less than 90 days before the change is to occur. Military families and veterans deserve and need adequate time to adjust to the changes made to their insurance coverage, and this bill ensures beneficiaries are made aware of changes well in advance.
H.R. 32 - The Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act - This legislation ends the so-called "widow's tax." This measure supports those military families that have lost a loved one and removes the dollar for dollar offset of benefit payments from the Department of Defense's Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) and the Department of Veterans' Affairs Dependency and Indemnity (DIC) Program, allowing them to garner the benefits they deserve. This legislation ensures that military families who have made the ultimate sacrifice receive the support they need during the hardest time of their lives.
H.R. 1864 – Protection of Military Sexual Assault Whistleblowers- This legislation protects members of the military who notify the Inspector General regarding allegations of sexual assault or other forms of sexual misconduct in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Prior to this legislation, there was no clear protection for sexual assault whistleblowers.
Along with this piece of legislation, Congresswoman Ellmers held a roundtable discussion on July 8, 2013 on sexual assault in the military. Guests included the 42nd JAG of the Navy along with attendees from the U.S. Army War College, Marine Corps Reserves, Army Reserves, Marine Corps, and professional staff from the House Armed Services Committee. This discussion was designed to shed light on current problems facing our military.
H.J.RES.91 - The Department of Defense Survivor Benefits Continuing Appropriations Resolution – Should there be a lapse in appropriations, this resolution ensures that the family of a deceased service member receives the support and benefits guaranteed to the family by the Survivor Benefit Plan. It is imperative that we as a nation do everything we can to help military families facing the tragedy of losing a loved one.
Pay Our Military Letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel - On October 4, 2013 Congresswoman Ellmers sent a letter to Secretary Hagel to demand that H.R. 3210 be enforced during the government shutdown. The law was signed by the President but his administration failed to enforce it. This legislation guaranteed and mandated that our military, and those who support them, would receive their paychecks despite a lapse in appropriations. Men and women of the armed services, as well as the civilians that support them, should never miss a paycheck. The Pay Our Military Act was passed and signed into law to protect our military from partisan bickering and political gridlock.
Tuition Assistance Program Letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel - On March 19, 2013 Congresswoman Ellmers sent a letter to Secretary Hagel requesting that the Department of Defense reinstate the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). TAP prepares our military to serve, lead, and provides them with greater opportunity when they transition to civilian life. The selfless soldiers who protect and promote freedom deserve the opportunity to pursue higher education. For many of the soldiers serving, the TAP is the only means of furthering their education.
TRICARE for Kids Study Letter to Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs - On September 24, 2013 Congresswoman Ellmers sent a letter to Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Dr. Woodson, requesting that the Department of Defense reshape TRICARE in a way that would better serve children of military families. The Congresswoman wrote this letter after hearing from military families that TRICARE has insufficient child-centered healthcare options. The Congresswoman asked that DoD listen to military families and pediatric providers when conducting its study on TRICARE for Kids so that DoD can better serve the needs of children.
TRICARE Letter to the Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel regarding the exclusion of Molecular Pathology Laboratory Tests (MoPath) and other Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs) - On February 28, 2014 Congresswoman Ellmers sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to express significant concerns about TRICARE's change in reimbursement policy to begin excluding MoPath tests as well as LDTs from coverage. LDTs provide useful information for clinical decision-making to help physicians determine the best course of treatment for their patients. These tests include Cystic Fibrosis, Fragile X syndrome and spinal muscular atrophy.
440th Airlift Wing Letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey - On March 10, 2014 Congresswoman Ellmers sent a letter to the Department of Defense expressing serious concerns about the negative impacts inactivating the 440th Airlift Wing would have on training and air support at Ft. Bragg. The letter also requested that seven important questions be answered and those answers relayed to Members of Congress. These questions varied from the impacts to frequency and quality of training to monetary assistance for relocation of the roughly 1,200 affected service members.
Appropriations and Authorizations:
FY15 Defense Appropriations Request for the mission of the 440th Airlift Wing - On April 2, 2014 Congresswoman Ellmers sent a request to the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee requesting that the committee maintain the mission and planes of the 440th. The Congresswoman specifically asked that none of the funds in the defense appropriations legislation “be used to inactivate, relocate, or otherwise disrupt the mission, personnel, or aircraft of the 440th Airlift Wing.” Congresswoman Ellmers strongly supports and believes in the mission of the 440th and its personnel.
FY15 National Defense Authorization Act Member Testimony Day - On April 9, 2014 Congresswoman Ellmers testified before the House Armed Services Committee regarding the 2015 Fiscal Year National Defense Authorization Act. In her testimony, she requested that the 440th Airlift Wing maintain its mission and planes, as the 440th is a vital component of Joint Airborne and Air Transportability at Fort Bragg. Congresswoman Ellmers also asked Chairman McKeon to fix the inconsistent and untimely notification process provided by TRICARE to its beneficiaries when changes are made to insurance coverage. She offered her legislation as a fix to this injustice.
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NOTE: If you are a current service member, veteran, or family member of someone who served and have encountered a problem with your disability compensation, pension, vocational rehabilitation, health care education, burial or survivor benefits, my office may be able to assist you. Click here to learn more about the constituent services my office provides.