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#580311 --- 05/22/07 08:41 PM White House Fights Military Pay Raise
Retired Soldier Offline
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Registered: 12/23/05
Posts: 12945
Loc: Rochester, NY
From Military.com

White House Fights Proposed Pay Raise
Week of May 21, 2007

As the House of Representatives prepared to pass its fiscal 2008 defense authorization bill, the White House urged lawmakers to reconsider a host of costly personnel initiatives added by the armed services committee.

Initiatives opposed by the White House included:
Bigger Pay Raises
Higher TRICARE Fees
TRICARE Retail Drugs "Fair Pricing"
CRSC Expansion
Survivor Indemnity Allowance
Reserve GI Bill
The House passed the $646 billion defense bill Thursday that supports the Pentagon's ambitious weapons acquisition program but would place new restrictions on foreign-made technology the military could buy.

The legislation, approved 397-27, has drawn a veto threat from the White House because of its "Buy American" provisions. The measure covers defense spending for the budget year that begins Oct. 1.

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#581622 --- 05/25/07 12:24 PM Re: White House Fights Military Pay Raise [Re: Retired Soldier]
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Registered: 12/23/05
Posts: 12945
Loc: Rochester, NY
Pay raise is only part of picture, Gates says

By William H. McMichael - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday May 24, 2007 15:40:00 EDT

Troops who would like to see a bigger raise next year need to keep the bigger picture in mind, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday.

The administration wants a 3 percent raise for all ranks effective Jan. 1, but the House of Representatives has bumped that to 3.5 percent in its version of the 2008 defense authorization bill. The White House Office of Management and Budget has called the higher raise “unnecessary,” and Gates essentially mirrored that opinion during a May 24 Pentagon press conference, saying “We think that that’s about the right number.”

Besides, he said, there are some big-ticket items to be bought that he considers crucial to the war in Iraq.

“You know, we all wish that we had the luxury of doing more in certain areas,” Gates told reporters. “This is perhaps one of them. But there are competing interests for the dollars that we have: MRAPs, for example.”

The Army and Marine Corps want to buy a total of more than 20,000 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, designed to provide better protection against improvised explosive devices, the No. 1 killer of U.S. troops in Iraq.

“That’s billions and billions of dollars,” Gates said. “Where’s it going to come from? Is it better to give a soldier a pay raise or be able to buy MRAPs? I mean, these are the trade-offs that we have to make. And it seemed to us that 3 percent was a fair increase in compensation.”

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