Senators urge Obama to reconsider militia stance

Posted: Friday, October 02, 2009

ANCHORAGE - Alaska's U.S. senators are calling on the Obama administration to reconsider its objection to federal retirement pay for World War II veterans who patrolled Alaska when it was a territory.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Mark Begich, D-Alaska, urged the administration in Senate floor speeches Thursday to change its stance on a provision they inserted in the 2010 Senate Defense Bill to restore pay for 26 elderly members of the Alaska Territorial Guard.

Begich said one of the veterans died this week, leaving 25.

The pay was reduced in January after a law passed by Congress in 2000 was reinterpreted to no longer recognize the guard's service as federal active duty.

The administration says the action would establish a precedent of treating service by state employees as active duty to compute such pay.

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