Rep. Cisneros urges DOD to support protections for servicemembers during pandemic

Representative Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39) joined his colleagues on the House and Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs in sending a letter to Department of Defense (DoD) Secretary Mark Esper regarding the unfair financial burden facing servicemembers as a result of the stop movement order issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some servicemembers and their families were in the midst of a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move when the stop movement order was made and may be forced to pay for multiple housing arrangements and make two payments– one for housing at their current duty station and another at their intended PCS. To read the full letter, click here.

“In the middle of a pandemic and Permanent Change of Station, servicemembers and their families are bearing a heavy financial burden by having to pay for two housing payments. While the DOD’s stop movement order was the correct response to the coronavirus, they cannot leave these military families behind,” said Rep. Cisneros. “I join my colleagues on the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees in urging Secretary Esper to provide relief to our military families.”

In their letter, the Members wrote, “As we continue to work together to stop the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate its impact on our military, our nation, and our world, we ask you to remind leadership throughout the Department that our servicemembers are our most important asset, and it is every leader’s duty to take care of them and their families. We applaud the commanders who have taken this to heart and prioritized their responsibilities to approve or deny Exception To Policy or ETPs. Congress stands ready to enable the Department, its leadership, and its servicemembers to succeed in these goals.”

This article was released by the Office of Congressman Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr.