Congress Fights To Boost Obama’s Low Military Pay Raise ProposalPresident Barack Obama arrives at Ramstein Airbase in Germany, June 5, 2009. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)
U.S. troops are in danger of receiving a low pay raise yet again if Congress fails to persuade the Senate not to go along with Obama’s proposal. Though time is running out, there is still a chance for Congress to get the 2.1% percent pay raise for soldiers instead of the mere 1.6% wanted by Obama.
The House is fighting for the higher pay raise to keep troop income comparable with that of the private sector. Though the law requires military pay to be increased at least 2.1% yearly for that purpose, the President has the authority to overpower that rate.
Obama has been successful in slashing that number dramatically for the past several years. Since 2010, military raises have been set at 1.7% or below, enraging House members who wish to see our men and women in service paid more.
In August, Obama wrote a letter to Congress with his proposal, claiming that keeping the low raise was necessary. “I am strongly committed to supporting our uniformed service members, who have made such great contributions to our nation over more than a decade of war,” Obama wrote. “As our country continues to recover from serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare, however, we must maintain efforts to keep our nation on a sustainable fiscal course.”
The proposed raise for 2017 is only slightly higher than the one that was issued to military members this year. Despite growing threats and an ever more dangerous world, the military men and women only received a pay raise of 1.4%.
“Our men and women in uniform deserve a full pay raise,” Republican Congressman from Nevada Joe Heck said in a statement. “The global security environment is not getting any safer and deployments aren’t getting any easier, yet our military families are constantly asked to do more with less.”