On May 22, 2014, the House passed the fiscal 2015 National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 385-98. The measure would authorize the Defense Department to spend more than $600 billion for FY2015, which should result in a 1.8% pay increase for service members.
The 1.8% pay increase is not explicitly stated as part of the legislation. But the bill was not amended to exclude the automatic 2015 cost of living adjustment,which was calculated at 1.8%. Last fall, the president requested that the yearly military pay increase be limited to 1% , and the same for civilian government employees. The approval of the bill as it currently stands voices the House’s sentiment that the military should receive the 1.8% pay increase.
However, the president could still adjust the pay to 1%, citing fiscal concerns or a national emergency. But let’s hope, for the sake of our men in women in uniform that it doesn’t come to that, and they get the full cost of living adjustment.
The $600 billion plus, approved by the National Defense Authorization Act, also included a base budget for the Pentagon of $495.8 billion and an Overseas Contingency Operations budget of $79.4 billion.
Also approved as part of the bill is the forming of a commission to study and advise the restructuring of the Army, including resizing, negotiating an active to reserve ratio, forming policies and future missions. The bill also protected several weapons programs, while prohibiting the settling of a permanent military instillation in Afghanistan.
Now that the House is finished with its 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, the baton is tossed across the Capitol to the Senate. The Senate Armed Services Committee is currently working on its version of the bill. The bill probably won’t reach the Senate floor until next fall. Then a House-Senate conference committee will work together to create a final version of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act.
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Military Connection: Military Pay Raise? By Debbie Gregory