Last Tuesday’s election results have inspired hundreds if not thousands of analyses, “Wednesday morning quarter backings” and prognostications.
For example, J Street (a non-profit advocacy group aiming to promote meaningful American leadership to end the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israel conflicts peacefully and diplomatically) saw the election results as a sign that American Jews remain a solidly liberal and progressive constituency, voting largely Democratic and that “[T]he partisan and neoconservative attack ads targeting pro-Israel, pro-peace candidates over Israel failed to change the way American Jews voted in the 2010 Congressional elections.”
Some readers provided a different perspective.
But how about prognostications?
As a retired military, I have a keen interest in how the recent Republican tsunami, the “shellacking,” may affect our active duty military and veterans.
Well, the reputable Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) gives us some insight in its Nov. 5 Legislative Update.
While MOAA does not feel that the congressional changes, especially in the leadership of the armed services committees, will have much impact in “people program” initiatives, they foresee the major battles taking place over funding, aggravated by the spiraling budget deficits.
“That said,” MOAA bemoans the loss of Democratic legislators who “have been among the strongest supporters of military people issues in the past,” including:
* House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO), who has championed a long list of pay, health care, concurrent receipt, wounded warrior and survivor initiatives and had a powerful hand in virtually all of the major gains of the last decade (one of four 2008 recipients of MOAA’s Arthur T. Marix Congressional Leadership Award).
* House Military Construction, VA and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Chet Edwards (D-TX), who has guided the addition of billions of dollars to meet growing VA program needs in recent years and sponsored legislation to protect against unfair TRICARE fee hikes (one of five 2007 Marix Award recipients).
* Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), who has sponsored multiple initiatives in support of the Guard and Reserve and survivor communities (one of four 2010 Marix Award recipients).
* Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS), long-time supporter of military health care and the Guard and Reserve community (one of four 2006 Marix Award recipients).
* Rep. Jim Marshall (D-GA), lead concurrent receipt (H.R. 333) sponsor in the House (one of four 2004 Marix Award recipients).
MOAA also expresses its concern over whether and how the lame duck Congress will address a full plate of issues in the post-election session that starts November 15.
Issues such as :
• Stopping a 23.5% cut in Medicare and TRICARE payments to doctors now scheduled for Dec. 1 (with an additional 6.1% cut due Jan. 1).
• Approving funds to keep the government running beyond December 1.
• Acting on legislation to extend some or all of the tax cuts due to expire Jan 1.
• Passing a defense authorization bill for our wartime military.
MOAA feels that it is not likely that the lame duck Congress will let the government shut down, but that it will probably pass temporary funding through next January or February. But since some legislators will want to get out of town after doing the minimum required, “everything else is a crap shoot.”
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.