Department Engages Congress for Full 3.5 Percent Troop Pay Raise
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 31, 2007 Military members will receive a 3 percent pay raise effective tomorrow, as President Bush urges Congress to revise some provisions regarding Iraq contained in the fiscal 2008 National Defense Authorization Act.
The president authorized the 3 percent pay raise in an executive order. The act includes authorization for a 0.5 percent additional pay raise for U.S. troops, but the president has, for now, elected not to sign the defense authorization bill in its present form while Congress is adjourned, a practice known as a "pocket veto."
On Dec. 28, President Bush announced his displeasure with some language pertaining to Iraq in the current version of the act, according to White House documents released that day. The president said he won't sign off on the bill until it is revised. Congress is now on its holiday recess.
In a statement, the president urged Congress "to ensure that any provisions affecting servicemember pay and bonuses, as well as provisions extending expiring authorities, are retroactive to January 1, 2008."
"The (Defense) Department will work closely with Congress toward the 3.5 percent pay raise effective Jan. 1, as originally envisioned in the bill," Bill Carr, deputy undersecretary of defense for military personnel policy, said in a statement released today.
"Likewise," Carr's statement continued, "we will work to ensure the final bill features no interruption of bonus authorities."