MILITARY MATTERS

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FYI: The U.S. House unanimously approved a bill yesterday boosting benefits and economic protections for active duty servicemembers. The bill restricts conditions for which servicemembers living in apartments renting for less than $1,700 a month can be evicted, limits interest on outstanding loan payments to six percent and boosts life insurance coverage, among other moves updating the 1940 Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act. Service members and their (mainly conservative) advocates have long complained about difficult economic conditions, particularly during periods of overseas deployment. Check out Kai Wright’s essay in the City Limits archive arguing that progressives must move beyond only challenging the military and become more involved in advocating for better pay and benefits for servicemembers, a large percentage of whom come from poor and minority communities. [5/8/03]