CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
The House is expected to consider H.R. 2990, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote. H.R. 2990 was introduced on June 23, 2009, by Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO).
The rule for H.R. 2647 (the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010) provides that the text of this bill would be incorporated into that authorization legislation upon engrossment.
Retired Pay Benefits: H.R. 2990 would adjust retired military pay and grade for reserve members who are recalled to active status and who complete at least two years of service in active status. These adjustments would be retroactive to January 1, 2008.
The bill would also expand for nine months (January through September 2010) the eligibility for concurrent receipt of both military retired pay and veterans' disability compensation for all Chapter 61 disability retirees, regardless of their disability rating or years of service.
Compensation and Benefits for Service Members: H.R. 2990 would extend for one year certain bonus and special pay authorities for reserve forces, health care professionals serving in the Selected Reserve, as well as nuclear officers. Additionally, the bill would extend for one year certain authorities for special pay, incentive pay and bonuses for military personnel. This includes hazardous duty pay, reenlistment bonuses, referral bonuses, skill incentive pay, and retention incentives for service members assigned to high priority units.
Federal Employee Benefits: H.R. 2990 would provide that federal employees receive credit for unused sick leave when determining annuity if they have not been paid for those days. The bill also enables federal employees to deposit refunds of retirement deductions with interest under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Additionally, certain District of Columbia employees who transfer to federal employment would be eligible for federal retirement credit.
Oil and Gas Funding Source Repeal: The bill would amend the Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Research Fund created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. This fund currently is made up of federal royalties, rents, and bonuses derived from federal onshore and offshore oil and gas leases issued under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and the Mineral Leasing Act. H.R. 2990 would redirect these funds to offset the compensation and benefits provided under the bill.
This legislation seeks to expand the number of military "Chapter 61" retirees-a reference to the section of the U.S. Code covering the military disability retirement plan-that would be allowed to receive their full military retired pay plus veterans' disability compensation. This is a change from current law in which retirement pay is typically reduced dollar-for-dollar by any amount received in disability compensation.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has not yet produced a cost estimate for H.R. 2990.