President Barack Obama signed the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act Friday, which will give soldiers a 1 percent pay raise, as well as a $3 increase in most prescription co-pays. The bill is the result of a compromise in troop benefits reached by the House and Senate Armed Services Committees.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) released a summary of the ups and downs of this fiscal year’s $585 billion NDAA.
“While this proposal makes difficult choices, if trends are not reversed Congress will be called upon to make impossible choices in the years to come,” McKeon wrote in his fact sheet.
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Both armed services committees disputed some of the troop benefits requested by the Pentagon and President Barack Obama.
McKeon’s summary says the House and Senate committees agreed to reduce the basic allowance for housing by 1 percent, not the 5 percent that the Defense Department had asked for.
The committees also included a provision handed down by Obama and his senior military advisers to freeze pay for general and flag officers in FY 2015, as well as removing a retirement incentive for general offices that had been in place since 2006.
Of the $585 billion in the defense spending bill, $521.3 billion will be spend on base discretionary spending for national defense, while $63.7 billion will go toward Overseas Contingency Operations — $5.1 billion of which Obama had requested to cover the costs of fighting Islamic State militants.
McKeon’s report said both committees disagreed with Obama’s goal of shrinking the size of the military.
“Armed Services Members are not prepared to accept a smaller, less capable force at this time. Tough choices must be made,” McKeon wrote in his summary of the bill.
Below are highlights of the bill as detailed in McKeon’s summary:
“Over the last five years, this authority has proved important for the successful recruitment, retention and mentorship of our federal civil servants,” said NARFE National President Richard G. Thissen, in a press release. “This is especially important now, as agencies balance workloads amid an ongoing retirement wave and sequestration-level funding.”
Savings Achieved and Added Spending
The House Armed Services Committee memo shows where money will be categorically saved or cut. Included in the savings:
Both armed services committees also approved the following spending increases: