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Public Statements

Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. President, I rise to comment on a provision in the fiscal year 2011 NDAA which the Senate passed today.

Section 635 of H.R. 6523, The Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2011, contains a sense of Congress concerning age and service requirements for retired pay for nonregular service. The sense of Congress serves to clarify a provision which I authored and which is contained in section 647 of the fiscal year 2008 National Defense Authorization Act. I appreciate the committee's desire to clarify the intent of that provision and ensure proper credit is given to members of the Reserve.

As can be inferred from the title of the provision in the fiscal year 2008 NDAA, the intent of the provision is to provide earlier retired pay to members of the Ready Reserve who serve in active Federal status or perform active duty for significant periods. The sense of Congress in the fiscal year 2011 NDAA notes that the intent of the original provision was for reservists to begin receiving retired pay according to time spent deployed, by 3 months for every 90-day period spent on active duty over the course of a career, rather than limiting qualifying time to such periods wholly served within the same fiscal year. I agree with this sense of the Congress to the extent that reservists should receive credit for each 90-day period of continuous duty even though that duty may span 2 different fiscal years.

However, the original intent of the provision, as I authored it, was not to give credit for any 90 days of duty served anytime in one's career, regardless of whether or not that duty was served consecutively. This would not be ``active Federal status or active duty for significant periods,'' it would just be the normal accumulation of days served over the course of a reservists career.

My intent in the original provision was to reward reservists who were deploying or serving an active duty tour for a significant period of time. It was not to allow for early receipt of retired pay simply because, over the course of a reservist's career, the number of days served added up to 90.

I would like to yield to the honorable ranking member of the committee, the Senator from Arizona, and solicit his perspective on this matter.

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