Sep 8, 2016
Defense Drumbeat

Excerpts below.

WASHINGTON – Troops will see yet another low pay raise next year if President Barack Obama has his way, but the president’s decision to limit an increase to 1.6  percent is not necessarily a done deal.
The House is still pushing for a higher 2.1-percent raise, enough to keep servicemember pay in step with the private sector. This week, the House resumes what are likely to be hard-fought negotiations with the Senate, which backs the lower Obama raise.
The House effort might be a longshot. It lost the fight last year for a 2.3-percent pay hike amid Senate opposition and an order last summer by Obama to limit the increase to 1.3 percent.
“Our men and women in uniform deserve a full pay raise," Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., said in a statement. “The global security environment is not getting any safer and deployments aren't getting any easier, yet our military families are constantly asked to do more with less.”...
Troop raises have been capped at 1.7 percent or below since 2010, reining in big boosts during the post 9/11 period and earlier Iraq War when annual paychecks surged from 3 to nearly 7 percent. By law, military pay is usually supposed to increase by at least 2.1 percent to keep up with private-sector wage growth, but the president has the power to set it at other levels.
The difference in Obama’s pay decision and the House plan is about $11 per month for an E4 with over three years of service and nearly $28 for an O3 with more than six years of service, according to the Armed Services Committee...
This week, Thornberry, Heck and other House members, including Democrats, resumed conference negotiations with senators on a final NDAA. A finished bill must go back to each chamber for a vote.
“The House-passed NDAA provides the full raise our troops are entitled to, while blocking the president’s ability to reduce troop pay again,” Thornberry said earlier this month. “I hope this provision becomes law when the conference bill comes to the House and Senate floor.”
But the Senate has rejected the higher pay raise. In May, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee military personnel subcommittee and crafted the chamber’s pay raise policy, said he would have liked to dole out a higher increase but was doubtful the money could be found to support it...
Obama announced in late August that he was again setting raises low to save money during the tight fiscal times...

114th Congress