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Wenstrup, Panetta Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill to Offset Financial Hardship for Activated Military Reservists and National Guard

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressmen Brad Wenstrup (OH-02) and Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) reintroduced the Reservist Pay Equity Act to encourage employers to continue to pay employees who are 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 activated. However, employers may receive a tax credit for paying differential wages to their reservists and National Guard members who are called up, which helps these servicemembers offset financial challenges while activated. The bipartisan Reservist Pay Equity Act increases the tax credit employers receive from 20% to 50%.

“Reservists and National Guard members make many sacrifices when they put their civilian lives on hold to answer the call, including decreased pay in many cases. I’ve seen firsthand the financial challenges that our men and women in uniform and their families experience during deployments,” said Congressman Wenstrup.“Our bipartisan legislation will alleviate some of the financial challenges that families face by incentivizing more employers to pay differential wages to those activated. I am incredibly grateful to the men and women who have been called up to provide enhanced protection to our Capitol, and their continued presence should serve as a reminder that this legislation is needed now more than ever, and Congress can and should address this issue without delay.”

“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 Congressman Panetta. “Our bipartisan legislation increases the employer tax credit to encourage more employers to offer differential wage pay to employees while they answer the call of duty for our nation. As National Guard members and reservists remain on the frontlines at home and abroad, it’s legislation like this that will help maintain the financial security of these devoted Americans.”  

“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.”

“ROA appreciates Rep. Panetta and Rep. Wenstrup reintroducing the Reservist Pay Equity Act in the 117th Congress. His commitment to Reserve Component employment is on display with increased employer tax credits. Deployments in 2020 for COVID and natural disasters are only some of the many times the National Guard and Reserve augmented the active force. We must not forget that employers are just as affected by these deployments as our servicemembers, and this tax credit would help them support our citizen-warriors,” said Jeffrey Phillips, Executive Director, Reserve Officers Association.

“The membership of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the U.S. (EANGUS) supports the Reservist Pay Equity Act. We thank Congressman Panetta and Congressman Wenstrup for introducing this legislation that encourages employers to pay our reserve component service members fairly and encourages companies to employ reservists during state status and in service to our country. EANGUS understands the sacrifice of the servicemember and the employer,” said Command Sergeant Major (Ret) Karen Craig, President of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS).

Congressman Wenstrup serves as a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. He served a tour in Iraq from 2005-2006 as a combat surgeon and was awarded a Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge for his service.