Congressman Tim Ryan’s Bipartisan Legislation to Help Members of Guard and Reserve in National Defense Authorization Act Passes House
Washington, DC – The House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act this evening. The bill contains the provisions of over a dozen pieces of legislation authored or supported by Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13), Co-Chair of the National Guard and Reserve Caucus, several of which are highlighted below.
Ryan is quarantining at home and cast his vote remotely.
“As the Co-Chair of the National Guard and Reserve Caucus, I am extremely pleased to see the full House include so many pieces of my legislation the National Defense Authorization Act. These provisions will have a real-world impact on the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Guardians of our Armed Forces, especially for our Air Force Reservists at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station and our Soldiers at Camp James A. Garfield. These bills will also improve readiness, retention, provide additional opportunities, and protect servicemembers’ right to vote. I look forward to seeing this bill signed into law,” said Congressman Ryan.
The provisions of the National Guard and Reserve Incentive Pay Parity Act, authored by Ryan, would require the military to provide Reserve and National Guard service members incentive and special duty pays at the same rate as their active-duty counterparts. Current legislation caps the amount of pay that members of the National Guard and Reserves receive to a fraction of what those on active duty receive. For a reservist serving on a C-130J flight crew at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, this could mean nearly $3,000 of additional compensation per year. The provisions of the bill have already been included in the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act.
The provisions of the Reservists Opportunity Act, authored together with Congressman Chris Jacobs (R-NY-27), would allow for National Guard and Reserve members to access the Army’s Tour of Duty system, which serves as a military job board, from any device. Currently, this service is only accessible on devices connected to Department of Defense (DoD) networks limiting the ability for some members to easily find active-duty opportunities in a timely manner.
The provisions of the 1095 Rule Amendment Act, cosponsored by Ryan, would amend the accounting of Guard and Reserve members performing active duty Reserve or full-time Guard duty towards authorized end strengths. Currently, the maximum number of days full-time National Guard and active-duty Reserve members can serve before counting against active end strength is 1095 days out of 1460 days. This bill would increase that cap to 1825 days out of 2190 days. DoD views the proposed change as providing additional flexibility to employ Guard members and Reservists into critical active-duty requirements in order to maintain mission readiness. The National Guard Association of the United States also supports this bill.
Lastly, the provisions of the Reducing Barriers for Military Voters Act, also cosponsored by Ryan, would direct the Federal Voting Assistance Program to provide an end-to-end voting system to service-members with limited postal service. Following the creation of an implementation plan, the DoD will demonstrate the service with a subset of voters in the 2024 federal election and expand it to the entire identified population for the 2026 federal election cycle. The service will be "opt-in" for states to ensure proper and necessary coordination with state election officials. It will require a verifiable, auditable vote trail (paper or electronic).
The legislation still awaits consideration by the U.S. Senate.