(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - After the Department of Defense announced it will extend the duration of the STOP Movement order, which stops all travel for Department of Defense civilian employees, Servicemembers, and their families, Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) joined Rep. Deb Haaland (NM-01) in calling on Department of Defense (DoD) Secretary Mark Esper to address undue financial burdens on military families.

The Members wrote: "While the Stop Movement order was noble and necessary, this unprecedented action left thousands of military families in extreme financial distress. Shortly after the 60-day movement suspension was ordered, numerous military members and their families informed us of the significant repercussions caused by their inability to follow through with their PCS, retirement and/or separation orders. Their specific circumstances include but are not limited to families who are renting a home at their current duty station and have contractually purchased or leased a rental unit at their next duty station, families who are currently renting with landlords who refuse to release deposits towards rental property at the new duty location, civilian spouses who terminated their employment prior to the Stop Movement order, and families who will be forced to separate due to their civilian spouses employment at the new duty station. These circumstances have forced Servicemembers and their families into difficult financial situations where they are paying for two residences and must replace necessities that were already shipped, ie- household goods, rental furniture, and clothing."

“Military families should never have to sacrifice financial security for their health and well-being, but the STOP Movement Order had unintended consequences that forced military families to experience extreme financial burdens," said Rep. Haaland. "As the daughter of two military veterans, I know that military families face incredible obstacles. As we move into a longer STOP movement order, the Department of Defense must provide uniform guidance and financial support for military personnel during this global coronavirus pandemic." 

The letter was also signed by U.S. Representatives James P. McGovern, Brian Fitzpatrick, Matt Gaetz, Jackie Speier, Cheri Bustos, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Denny Heck, Donald S. Beyer, Jr., Madeleine Dean, Tulsi Gabbard, Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr., Veronica Escobar, Jason Crow, Wm. Lacy Clay, Doug Lamborn, Elaine G. Luria, Terri A. Sewell, Anthony Brindisi, Ruben Gallego, Michael Waltz, Joe Wilson, Tony Cardenas, Anthony G. Brown, Stephen F. Lynch, Vicki Hartzler, Lauren Underwood, Julia Brownley, Seth Moulton, Mike Levin, Salud Carbajal, William R. Keating, Colin Allred, and Gregorio Kilili Camacho.

The letter was endorsed by Pay It Forward Inc., Military Order of the Purple Heart, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officers Association & Enlisted Association, AMSUS, The Society of Federal Health Professionals, TREA: The Enlisted Association, Army Aviation, Association of America (AAAA), National Military Family Association, Partners In PROMISE, Association of the United States Navy (AUSN) Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and the Marine Corps Reserve Association (MCRA)

A copy of the full letter to Defense Secretary Esper is available here.