LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas congressional members say progress has been made on GI benefits, military housing, and other defense issues as Washington legislators scurried to tie up loose ends before the Christmas holiday break.
Senator Blanche Lincoln and Congressman Vic Snyder said yesterday that their proposal to expand educational benefits to National Guard and Reserve troops was included in the defense authorization bill. Congress is expected to approve the measure before adjourning this year.
Also, Senator Mark Pryor said he and others had sought an explanation for why military housing projects have been delayed at Air Force bases in Arkansas and three other states. Pryor said he hoped that subcontractors who have gone unpaid for months would be receiving checks soon and that military families would see work on the housing resume.
Pryor also said another measure should be ready for final passage within days that would give military personnel five extra days of rest and recuperation for a total of 20 days. The Defense Dept. increased deployment last spring from 12 months to 15 months but retained the total 15 days of R & R.