Jun 21, 2017 Issues: Veterans, Armed Services

WASHINGTON, DC – On June 8, Congressmen Walter B. Jones (NC-3) and Tim Walz (MN-1) introduced H.R. 2850, the Military Patron Protection Act (MPPA) of 2017. The bipartisan MPPA would provide commissary and exchange patrons – including service members, retirees, their families, and survivors – with a voice in how their contributions are managed by the Department of Defense (DoD), and provide much needed transparency over the multitude of changes taking place to programs they rely on, including military family support programs.

The DoD operates a network of retail outlets on military installations worldwide called commissaries and exchanges. These programs have traditionally provided a wide range of goods and services to members of the Armed Forces and their families at savings from 20 to 30 percent, greatly assisting our military personnel and their families to stretch paychecks. These programs are funded by a combination of federal appropriations along with nearly $1 billion in user fees contributed by patrons.

If enacted, the MPPA would create the Military Resale Patron Benefits Advisory Commission to ensure protection of the interests of commissary and exchange patrons by providing an objective voice on proposed changes and reforms to the DoD’s commissary system. By increasing transparency to millions of beneficiaries, the MPPA will help guarantee that reforms intended to provide for more efficient operations do not come at the expense of the patrons; our military, retirees, their families, and survivors.

“I have long advocated for the importance of the military commissary and exchange system, and have seen its positive impact on military families of Eastern North Carolina,” said Congressman Jones. “I want to thank Congressman Walz for helping me introduce the Military Patron Protection Act (MPPA) so that our military families have a voice in the future of the commissary system.”

“Our military families endure many hardships, and the DoD’s commissaries and exchanges help ensure that grocery shopping isn’t one of them,” said Congressman Walz. “We owe it to our military families to ensure their commissary and exchange contributions are reallocated wisely and in their best interest. I look forward to continuing to fight for the MPPA’s passage alongside Congressman Jones, our VSO partners, the men and women of our military, and their families.”

Moreover, the MPPA would reveal whether user-fee generated funds are being redirected to fund military family support programs that have been traditionally provided by appropriations, and identify when small, woman-owned, and veteran-owned businesses were negatively affected by reforms.  Lastly, the MPPA would highlight when reforms directly or indirectly dissipate resources for a host of benevolent military causes including Fisher House, wounded warrior programs, military child scholarships and other necessary family support programs.

H.R. 2850 is endorsed by:

• Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA)
• American Logistics Association (ALA)
• American Military Partner Association (AMPA)
• American Military Retirees Association (AMRA)
• American Military Society (AMS)
• American Retirees Association (ARA)
• American Veterans (AMVETS)
• Armed Forces Marketing Council (AFMC)
• Association of the United States Navy (AUSN)
• Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS)
• Fleet Reserve Association (FRA)
• Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. (GSW)
• Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America (JWV)
• Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)
• Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH)
• Military Partners and Families Coalition (MPFC)
• National Industries for the Blind (NIB)
• National Military Family Association (NMFA)
• Society of Military Widows (SMW)
• The Flag and General Officers Network (TFGON)
• The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA)
• Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)
• United States Army Warrants Officers Association (USAWOA)

The full bill is attached.

Serving America’s military and veterans is one of Congressman Jones’ highest priorities.  Over the past 12 years, Congressman Jones has cosponsored more bills to help veterans than any other member of Congress.

For additional information, please contact Allison Tucker in Congressman Walter Jones’ office at (202) 225-3415 or Jesse Stock in Congressman Walz’ office at (507) 388-2149.