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First Lady Announces Family Program Budget Boost

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2010 – President Barack Obama's fiscal 2011 budget request calls for a record $8.8 billion for military family support programs, First Lady Michelle Obama told military spouses today at Bolling Air Force Base here.

The request represents a 3 percent increase over current funding, and includes more money for counseling and support for both active-duty and reserve-component spouses and families, she said at the Joint Armed Forces Officers’ Wives Club annual luncheon.

The budget request will include $1.3 billion to reduce shortages in military child care and ensure its quality remains high, and also increases funding for youth programs, she said.

In addition, based on input from military spouses, the request will include $84 million for spousal career development, Obama said, including tuition assistance and a federal internship program.

These are major investments, she noted, calling them part of a larger, ongoing commitment to care for troops and their families.

Obama recognized the strength and dedication of families she said serve the country just as their loved ones in uniform.

White House officials announced that the president intends to ask for a 1.4 percent basic military pay raise and an average increase in housing allowance of 4.2 percent in his fiscal 2011 budget request.

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