Saturday, July 24, 2010

2011 Military Pay Raise: House, 1.9% vs. Senate, 1.4%?

[Updated 1/1/2011]
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 was passed by Congress and has been sent to the President for signature. Touted as the largest Defense budget since WWII, the bill authorizes $725 billion for fiscal year 2011. The bill covers virtually every aspect of military spending including authorization for expanding TRICARE coverage to include dependents up to age 26, TRICARE fee protection, family support and care giver programs and a 1.4 percent increase in military pay

Find the pay chart HERE

For my fellow military members- here is the pending, unofficially proposed increases for next year, the great battle between the House and the Senate for the 2011 military pay increase.

Here's a excerpt from a reliable source on the recent conundrum:

"The House of Representatives wants a 1.9 percent military raise for 2011, an amount that would shave another half a percentage point off a perceived gap between average military and private-sector wages by providing an across-the-board increase higher than the average civilian wage hike last year.

The Senate, however, is siding with the Obama administration by putting a 1.4 percent across-the-board raise in its version of the 2011 defense authorization bill passed May 27 by the Senate Armed Services Committee.

...Differences in the House and Senate bills must be reconciled before a final bill passes. The Obama administration has made clear that it sides with the Senate, although it is unclear how hard it would fight for a smaller raise."

There is a longer-termed benefit to the proposal by the Senate, that will have far reaching benefits to certain military members beyond the next fiscal year.

In addition to their chosen 1.4 percent increase (which they believe to be quite fair due to a number of other military pay/benefits having healthy increases), and by the urging of Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., chairman of that committee’s personnel panel, the Senate bill takes the first steps toward establishing a new formula for military pay raises that, beginning in 2012, would provide bigger increases to ground combat troops.

“There is no civilian equivalent for a grunt,” Webb said. “We need to have a new formula that recognizes that.”

Here is an excerpt from the latest news regarding this story @ USA Today:

"The House approved a 1.9% raise, but the Senate Armed Services Committee, chaired by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., adopted the administration's lower recommendation.
Two weeks remain in the "lame duck" session of Congress, and Democrats have made passage of a defense authorization bill, which includes the pay raise, contingent on a divisive measure to repeal the military's ban on gays serving openly.
Some senators say Congress should give a boost to troops doing the most fighting. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., will propose bonuses for troops doing the "hardest work and most hazardous duties," spokesman Will Jenkins says.
Retired vice admiral Norbert Ryan, president of the Military Officers Association of America, says his group is leading a coalition of 32 groups representing 5.5 million current and former military personnel and their families in pushing for a 1.9% raise."

I think we'll soon be seeing a LOT more of these pop up in the sandbox!

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