Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Garamendi Joins Bipartisan Letter Asking DOD to Rescind Attempt to Defund Commissaries

March 5, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Responding to the needs of servicemembers, veterans, and their family members at Travis and Beale Air Force bases, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) joined a bipartisan letter today asking Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to rescind the Department of Defense’s efforts to reduce funding subsidies for commissaries on military bases.

Garamendi, a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, was joined on the letter by Congressmen Tim Griffin (R-AR02), Ed Whitfield (R-KY01), Rick Crawford (R-AR01), Ted Yoho (R-FL03), and Jon Runyan (R-NJ03).

“Your recent budget proposal to reduce the subsidy provided to our U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) commissaries by $1 billion in three years is an unacceptable cut that we urge you to rescind,” the Members wrote. “Reducing the current subsidy would have a lasting impact on many of our young military families, who rely heavily on the benefits and convenience that these commissaries provide.”

Garamendi is an original cosponsor of Congressman Griffin’s Save Our Military Shopping Benefits Act (H.R. 3996). The legislation would prevent the closure or reduced operation of commissaries through 2016. 

“I’m proud to join this effort with many of my Republican colleagues, because it’s the right thing to do for our servicemembers and their families,” Garamendi added. “I’m always happy to work across the aisle when it helps my constituents. Commissaries help military families of modest means make ends meet, and they also provide good employment opportunities for the families of servicemembers.”

Commissaries save patrons more than 30 percent compared to supermarket prices with an average annual savings for a family of four of almost $4,500. Reducing subsidies would ultimately negate this benefit forcing beneficiaries to pay more for their groceries.