U.S. Congressman Ed Royce | In The News
District Update | October 28, 2016
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U.S. Congressman Ed Royce
Dear Friends,

Many of you contacted me in regards to the reporting from the Los Angeles Times on how the Department of Defense is using tax liens and wage garnishments to reclaim bonus payments to California National Guard members.

Many of these soldiers fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some have served multiple combat tours. And the Pentagon had ordered them to repay enlistment bonuses with interest. These soldiers are being punished for serving their country.

A lack of oversight allowed for widespread fraud and mismanagement at the California Guard when it came to meeting enlistment quotas.

This Monday, I wrote the Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to ask that he immediately halt this harassment. I further requested a comprehensive briefing by the Department of Defense and the National Guard Bureau, specifically focused on what authorities the Department of Defense currently possesses to waive the repayment of these debts as well as a full accounting as to the scope of this issue nation-wide.

Two days later, Secretary Carter ordered the suspension of all attempted California National Guard bonus "clawbacks."

That's a good start. But rest assured, I am seeking a long-term, legislative solution to end this nightmare for our soldiers.


Ed Royce

News for October 21-28, 2016

Rep. Royce Meets w/ APCAC
Rep. Royce recently launched an Asian Pacific Congressional Advisory Council (APCAC). The working group made up of local leaders of Chinese, Filipino, Indonesian, Korean, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese descent will meet with Chairman Royce on a regular basis to discuss federal issues of concern to the Asian American community in Southern California.

“As a representative of a vibrant Asian American community, meeting the needs of my constituents of Asian descent is a top priority. I've taken a leading role in the fight against educational discrimination towards Asian Americans and will further coordinate my efforts with APCAC. As Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I will continue to build stronger economic and cultural ties between the United States and Asian nations,” said Rep. Royce.

Rep. Royce Attends La Habra Chamber of Commerce Meeting
This week, Rep. Royce attended a La Habra Chamber of Commerce meeting. He spoke about the challenges facing local small business owners and how he can assist. Topics discussed included tax reform, transportation needs, and how to boost trade.

GOP leaders ask Pentagon to repay $20M in military bonuses
The excerpt below is from an article in the Washington Examiner that can be read here.


Top Republican lawmakers will send a letter to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on Tuesday asking him to find a way to ensure that thousands of California National Guard members aren't forced to give back re-enlistment bonuses.

The Washington Examiner received a copy of the letter by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, House Veterans' Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry and more than 20 other lawmakers. The lawmakers will ask the Pentagon to halt all attempts to reclaim $20 million in bonuses that were improperly given by recruiters in the Golden State.

"We are dismayed that our men and women who answered their country's call to duty are now being forced to repay what was promised to them in exchange for their honorable service," the letter states. "Some have faced the threat of wage garnishments and tax liens if they refuse. This is no way to treat those who have fulfilled their commitments to our country. They should be held harmless in light of the fraud that was perpetrated upon them by overzealous recruiters."

In 2011, Army Master Sgt. Tony Jaffe was convicted of criminal misconduct for handing out millions of dollars to officers and enlisted personnel who did not qualify in an attempt to increase recruitment and retention figures. At the time they were paid, the service members had no idea the bonuses were improper.

Read more here.

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