Rounds, Hirono Introduce Bill to Support Military Families, Quality of Life and Retention
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, introduced a bipartisan bill to codify in law the provisions of the Department of Defense regulation that directs military finance offices to reimburse service members for off-base housing expenses during long-term temporary duty.
“Our service members and their families make incredible sacrifices to keep us safe,” said Rounds. “They shouldn’t be faced with unnecessary stress or financial burdens when a service member is on a temporary assignment that could last for months. Our legislation would make sure no active duty service member would be denied reimbursements for off-base housing expenses when they are on long-term temporary duty. It is but one small step we can take to improve the quality of life for the men and women who are selflessly defending our country. This measure will support service members and their families serving at Ellsworth Air Force Base and Joe Foss Field as well as South Dakotans serving in our armed forces around the world.”
“Military members and Department of Defense civilians should not have to worry about potential financial burdens and red tape related to travel away from home,” said Hirono. “This commonsense legislation will continue to allow Department of Defense employees in Hawaii and around the world to do their jobs without jumping through unnecessary hoops.”
An example would be a service member stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base who has to go to a six-month training course somewhere else. By giving the service member the option, at no greater cost to the government, of staying off base, he or she would be able to take family members along. The bill supports military families, their quality of life and retention of these highly valued service members. The genesis of the bill was a recent reinterpretation of the regulation by the Air Force to deny the option of staying off-base.
Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.