House Panel Gives Military A More Generous Pay Raise Than Trump

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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The House Committee on Armed Services is pushing for a 2.4 percent pay raise for the military, which is higher than the 2.1 percent boost planned by President Donald Trump.

The pay raise has been added to the House panel’s draft for the upcoming fiscal year 2018 defense authorization bill, Military Times reports.

White House officials released the administration’s budget in May, advocating for a pay raise of just 2.1 percent. Still, if the budget passes untouched, that 2.1 percent pay raise would be the second time since 2010 that troops have received a pay raise of more than two percent. In practical terms, a 2.1 percent raise would amount to about $50 more per month for enlisted troops and $115 for junior officers.

The Obama administration accepted a 2.1 percent pay increase for 2017, though the administration initially requested only a 1.6 percent increase.

It’s almost never the case that a White House budget makes it through the legislative process without serious modifications, and so given that, it’s also likely there will be more fluctuation on the congressional defense budget draft as it’s handled in both the House and Senate.

A figure of 2.1 percent is 0.3 percent below the expect growth rate for wages in the civilian sector, but for his part, Secretary of Defense James Mattis is unconcerned about this growing pay gap between servicemembers and civilians. Mattis believes existing servicemember salaries are competitive.

“Our analysis shows we are paying them very competitive wages when you stack them up against high school graduates,” Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee last Monday.

“For the enlisted ranks, we probably have a better benefits package than most places. Not all of them. There are some out in Silicon Valley that can probably beat us hands down,” Mattis said.

“But when you look across the United States, we’re drawing in very high quality people because we are competitive,” Mattis added.

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