CONGRESSIONAL MILITARY FAMILY CAUCUS HOSTS ANNUAL SUMMIT TACKLES CHALLENGES FACED BY MILITARY FAMILIES
Oct 18, 2021
WASHINGTON, DC – Last Thursday, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), the bipartisan co-chairs of the Congressional Military Family Caucus, hosted a summit to address the current challenges faced by America’s military families. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the event was hosted virtually and shared via livestream on the caucus Facebook Page. The daylong event commenced with welcome remarks by First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston, and Major General Patrick Donahoe, the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Maneuver School of Excellence at Fort Benning in Georgia.
Over the course of the day, subject area experts, military family members as well as organization leaders, and public officials led panel presentations discussing the needs of Modern Military Families including Education, Child Care, Spouse Employment, Healthcare/Exceptional Family Member Program (EMFP), Mental Health, Financial Readiness, Food Insecurity, and Housing. Attendees viewed the event from across the country and were able to share their comments and ask questions of the panelists.
In speaking to the military family summit attendees, Congressman Bishop said that, “Events like today provide our caucus with the real-life perspective we need to educate our colleagues in Congress so we can build a stronger coalition to address the challenges you face. I look forward to continuing the good work of the Military Family Caucus with Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers and the 68 other Members of Congress who make up this Caucus. I would also ask everyone who joined us today to continue your dialogue with Congress. Your stories are inspiring, your experience is instructive, and your voices are powerful.”
Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers welcomed the event’s participants and highlighted her efforts to tackle some of the most urgent challenges military families face — including reducing barriers to military spouse employment by streamlining licensing requirements between states and improving the exceptional family program across the services by establishing an advisory council in the U.S. Department of Defense.
The Congresswoman highlighted the challenges military families face when it comes to education, especially in light of the ongoing pandemic. Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers noted that, “this year, we have the coronavirus disrupting our schools and routines for the second year in a row. And while most schools remain open, they still are facing immense challenges in this new world. It’s very hard. The bottom line is that wherever your service takes you or whatever challenges your family is facing, you should be able to trust that your children’s education will stay on track.”
Congressman Bishop was also a speaker on the military family food insecurity panel. Last month, Congressman Bishop introduced H.R. 5346, the bipartisan Equal Access to the Right Nutrition for Military Families Act, or EARN Act, which would increase access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for military families.
You can learn more about the event by visiting the summit webpage at https://bishop.house.gov/CMFC-Summit-2021. The webpage includes links to speaker biographies as well as the recorded video for the event.