Moore, colleagues, reintroduce legislation to better support activated military reservists and National Guard servicemembers

Today, Representatives Blake Moore (UT-01), Jimmy Panetta (CA-19), Brad Wenstrup (OH-02), and Don Beyer (VA-08) reintroduced the bipartisan Reservist Pay Equity Act to better incentivize employers to continue to pay members of the National Guard and Reserves while activated.

Employers who hire military reservists and National Guard members are not required to pay those servicemembers when they are deployed.  However, employers may receive a tax credit for paying their employed military reservists and National Guard members differential wages, which helps these servicemembers offset financial challenges while activated.  This legislation increases the tax credit employers receive for those payments from 20% to 50%, to better incentivize this practice and support these servicemembers.

“The Reservist Pay Equity Act is crucial for the well-being of our National Guard and Reserve members, especially those serving at Hill Air Force Base in the 419th Fighter Wing,” said Rep. Moore.  “While these citizen airmen may be part-time members of the military, they are full-time members of our neighborhoods and communities. By increasing the employer tax credit from 20% to 50%, we can encourage more employers to hire these National Guard and Reserve members, offsetting potential income disparity during deployment. This bipartisan bill helps both our men and women in uniform and our businesses by providing financial security for these dedicated Americans who sacrifice so much to safeguard our democracy.  This bill improves the quality of life of our servicemembers, recruitment and retention at Hill Air Force Base, Utah’s economy, and the proud American tradition of citizen-soldiers.  I’m proud to help lead it in Congress and look forward to advancing it through the legislative process.”

“When I was mobilized and deployed to Afghanistan, I was lucky to have a civilian employer who provided me with differential wages.  However, many reservists and National Guard members that I served with, and many others who are serving now, are not as fortunate,” said Rep. Panetta.  “I’m proud to reintroduce the bipartisan Reservist Pay Equity Act to encourage more employers to support our reservists and National Guard members while they serve our country.  Doing so will ensure financial security for the dedicated men and women in the reserves, and help motivate others to answer the call.”

“While serving as a podiatric surgeon in the Army Reserve, I saw firsthand the incredible sacrifices that Reservists and National Guard members make when they answer the call to serve our country. Unfortunately, too many of these brave men and women face a decrease in pay when they are activated that adds financial challenges to the many burdens our servicemembers already face,” said Rep. Wenstrup.  “This bipartisan legislation aims to alleviate some of these financial pressures by incentivizing employers to pay differential wages when members of the Reserve or National Guard are activated.  I am thankful for the incredible bravery and sacrifices those who serve our country make every single day and look forward to working with my colleagues to move this legislation.”

“Reservists and National Guardsmen are already asked to make enormous sacrifices when they are activated,” said Rep. Beyer. “Their financial security should not be on the line when they are called to serve. This bill would provide an important tool for employers to make up the difference in pay between their employees’ salaries and their wages when they are called up. Given the critical role these patriotic Americans play in our nation’s security, it is critical that we do all we can to support them when they are called up.”

More than 120,000 guardsmen have mobilized for missions since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.  Last month, the Guard marked 10 million coronavirus vaccinations administered at Guard-staffed vaccination sites across the country since last fall.

The Reservists Pay Equity Act is endorsed by the Reserve Officers Association, the National Guard Association of the United States, and the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS). 

“The Reserve Pay Equity Act would modernize outdated law to enhance readiness and career success for members of the Reserve and National Guard,” said Jeffrey Phillips, Executive Director, Reserve Organization of America.  “ROA thanks Rep. Panetta and Rep. Wenstrup for this bipartisan legislation and their continued support of citizen-warriors and America’s patriotic employers, who are just as affected by frequent deployments as our servicemembers.”

“The National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) thanks Rep. Panetta and Rep. Wenstrup for again introducing the Reservist Pay Equity Act which increases tax deductions for employers who ensure their servicemember employees don’t get paid less while they are deployed,” said retired Brig. Gen. J. Roy Robinson, President, the National Guard Association of United States.  “As we continue to improve laws to support the operational National Guard, efforts like this are crucial.  Along with our families and communities, civilian employers are critical members of our national defense team and I hope Congress continues to explore changes in the law which incentivize their continued support.”

“EANGUS understands the sacrifice of the servicemember and their civilian employers. Employers play a critical role in the retention of our force.  EANGUS knows every National Guard Servicemember has a unique profession in addition to their military expertise, which is why Congressman Panetta, Congressman Wenstrup, Congressman Beyer, and Congressman Moore’s legislation is vital to the National Guard’s readiness and our overall national security,” said MSgt (Ret) Daniel Reilly, President of EANGUS.  “We thank Congressman Panetta, Congressman Wenstrup, Congressman Beyer, and Congressman Moore for introducing this legislation that encourages employers to pay our reserve component servicemembers fairly and encourages companies to employ National Guard Servicemembers during their service to their respective states and country.”