Landrieu Introduces Bill to Close Military Pay Gap
"HOPE at HOME" provides tax credit to employers that continue to pay activated National Guard and Reserves.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., along with co-sponsors Sens. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John Kerry, D-Mass., today introduced the Helping Our Patriotic Employers at Helping Our Military Employees (HOPE at HOME) Act, which will provide a tax credit to businesses who continue to pay the salaries of employees who are activated for Guard or Reserve duty.
"Our National Guard and Reservists put their lives on the line to protect our freedom," Sen. Landrieu said. "And when they leave to fight for us, they leave their communities and their jobs, and it is our responsibility to make sure that their families are provided for while they are gone. The HOPE at HOME Act will help fill the pay gap created when our troops leave their jobs for the battlefield."
The legislation will give a 50 percent tax credit to employers who continue to pay the salary of their guard and reservists employees who have been called to active duty. It will give companies that cannot afford to make up the pay gap an incentive to do so by providing additional tax relief if they need to hire a worker to temporarily replace the active duty Guardsmen or Reservist. In addition, the bill clarifies the tax treatment of any pay-gap payments to make income tax filing easier for our Guard and Reservists.
"HOPE at HOME recognizes that soldiers who go off to protect America should not have to worry about providing for their families and paying their bills at home," Sen. Landrieu added. "That extra financial worry is also a disincentive for our troops to reenlist. And every time one of our soldiers leaves, our nation loses the experience and service of a highly trained, capable professional. We need to make every effort to keep our citizen soldiers in service to their country. HOPE at HOME is an important step in addressing our military's larger recruitment and retention issues."