Congress bypassed President Barack Obama’s wishes and worked toward a compromise on a defense policy that would allow military personnel to see a 2.1 percent pay raise beginning in January — the highest increase they’ve seen in years.
The National Defense Authorization Act authorized the pay raise as well as an increase in defense funding, which included additional funds for U.S. war efforts in Afghanistan and against the Islamic State group, Politico reported.
The defense spending bill unveiled Tuesday also included an overhaul of the military health care system.
Totaling nearly $619 billion, the bill overrode Obama’s order to set pay raises at 1.6 percent in 2017. Obama has kept military pay raises below 2 percent since 2011.
The bill also halted a reduction in the Army, keeping its end strength at 476,000, while boosting reserve forces by 4,000. The Marine Corps would get 3,000 more troops, according to a briefing on the bill, Stars and Stripes reported. The measure would also enhance readiness in the Air Force and Marine Corps.
Politico reported that the House was scheduled to vote on the bill Friday, with the Senate expected to vote on it next week. Should Obama veto the measure, it would be one of his last disgraceful legislative decisions.
This could be a huge win for our armed forces, who have done more than their fair share with years of service and sacrifice. They deserve a pay raise — at the very least.
It’s shameful that Obama has done very little in the way of supporting our military. In fact, he has done almost everything imaginable to weaken it since he took office — which is just another reason Jan. 21 can’t come soon enough.
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H/T Allen B. West