A bipartisan group of 31 lawmakers sent a letter to the House and Senate Armed Services Committee chairs urging them to secure a proposal that would provide extra funds to low-income military families, Military.com reported.
“Military hunger and troop readiness go hand in hand,” the letter states. “The Military Family Basic Needs Allowance would ensure that service members are able to provide the basic needs for their family members, eliminate unnecessary stress and anxiety and contribute to optimal mission readiness.”
The proposal, included in the House 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), would provide some service members a monthly allotment to decrease the number of families who seek regular food pantry support, according to the report.
The allotment would be based on the service member’s base pay plus other household income, including spouses. If household income falls at or below 130% of the federal poverty rate, they would qualify to receive a monthly payment, the report said.
An E-3 currently earns approximately $23,774 annual base pay and if four dependents rely on that income, such as a spouse and three children, the difference between earned income and 130% of the $39,200 federal poverty rate would be approximately $15,450, according to the report. With no other household income, about $1,288 monthly would be provided under the proposal.
The FY 2020 NDAA is currently in conference negotiations to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions, however, proposals that are not in both passed versions are often removed, according to the report.
Army National Guard photo by Spc. Tori Miller