May 06 2004

SHELBY: WE MUST PROVIDE A FINANCIAL SAFETY NET FOR OUR MILITARY RESERVISTS

In a letter to his colleagues in the Senate, U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala) encouraged support for legislation that would ease the financial burden placed upon military reservists and their families. The Dorgan-Shelby bill, S. 2309, will provide the much-needed financial assistance that our nation’s reservists desperately need.

Senator Shelby said, “In this post-September 11 world, our military reservists are playing a more crucial and sustained role in military operations. With the inception of the global war on terrorism and major deployments in support of Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, hundreds of thousands of members of the reserve components have been called-up for extended tours of duty, many of which are exceeding 12 months. When Guard members or reservists are mobilized, it has an enormous impact on their lives and the lives of their loved ones.”

S. 2309, the Military Reserve Mobilization Income Security Act, will help alleviate the financial burden that activated reservists and their families bear by providing a completely refundable income tax credit of up to $20,000 annually to a military reservist on active duty. This tax credit is based upon the difference in wages paid by the reservist’s private sector or civilian job and the military wages paid upon mobilization and will be available to members of the National Guard or Ready Reserve who are serving for more than 90 days.

Shelby continued, “Many of our reservists suffer a significant loss of income when they are mobilized and are often forced to leave better-paying private sector or civilian jobs to serve their country. This creates a financial burden that is extremely difficult for these families to manage.”

“America owes a great deal to those who wear the uniform and serve in our military under the most difficult of circumstances. While we can never fully repay that debt, we can do much more to relieve the immediate financial burden that many National Guard and reserve families experience when a family member is ordered to active duty. This legislation will provide those families with much-needed and well-deserved financial assistance,” Shelby concluded.