For the 13th year in a row, the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) was named one of the top lobbyists for 2019 by The Hill, a news outlet based in Washington, D.C., covering federal policy, defense, finance, and technology.
MOAA is the only military or veteran service organization honored among the 100 winners in the association category of The Hill’s Top Lobbyists for 2019 list.
“We are grateful to receive this recognition. Our staff and MOAA members, along with our Board of Directors and the nearly 400 chapters across our nation, take pride in our advocacy for those who serve or have ever served in our seven uniformed services, their families and survivors,” said MOAA’s president and CEO, Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins, USAF (Ret). “To be included among the other 99 accomplished associations adds to this honor and highlights the diversity of effort it takes to make a difference in Washington D.C.”
Below are some highlights of MOAA’s successful advocacy efforts in 2019, many of which are included in the Conference Report of the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act passed overwhelmingly by the House and Senate and now en route to President Donald Trump for his expected signature:
- Helped secure repeal of the widows tax to eliminate the loss of up to $12,000 per year for nearly 67,000 surviving spouses of servicemembers killed in service or through service-caused illnesses. This rights a wrong that has existed for over four decades.
- Partnered with other Veteran Service Organizations to pass the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 – increasing access to benefits and healthcare for those impacted by Agent Orange at sea further from the mainland.
- Ensured a 3.1 percent active duty pay raise, and protected housing allowances from arbitrary cuts.
- Successfully lobbied Congress to delay DoD’s plan to eliminate 18,000 military medical billets and call for an assessment on military medical readiness and support to beneficiaries, including many military caregivers and their families.
- Engaged Congress to legislate significant improvements to accountability for the quality and safety of military family housing provided by public-private partnerships.
- Ensured no new healthcare access fees for currently serving and retirees.
This honor really speaks to the hard work of MOAA’s staff and its members, and it validates the value of relationships we forged with members of Congress and their staffs. Our work with The Military Coalition and other organizations must also be recognized as a force multiplier for all of us who lobby on behalf of those who selflessly serve our nation.