The House of Representatives approved the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act on Friday, June 14th, 2013 which includes the Defense Spending Bill that supports a 1.8% pay increase for military personnel in 2014. It will still need to undergo more scrutiny by the Senate to make sure it will pass the President’s threat of Veto before that pay raise becomes a reality for military personnel and their families.
The 1.8 % increase is considerably larger than the 1% raise the Pentagon has been pushing for. That same 1% raise was already what the Senate had planned and it was the amount that President Obama was aiming at earlier this year. The good news is that everyone seems to agree that a pay raise is in order, something soldiers and their families have known for a while.
Where did the Additional .8% Increase Come From?
So where did the House of Representatives come up with the idea that military personnel needed a higher pay increase than what everyone else was already in agreement with? Well, it’s all a numbers game. See, the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, released the Employment Cost Index back in March, 2013. Experts took those statistics, crunched them with current wages and came up with a proposed pay increase that was what they considered reasonable and fair. It was determined that to support the cost of living increase, soldiers needed higher pay. Period.
The White House has put forth some rather aggressive changes for Tricare beneficiaries in the past and over the past few years, Congress has slowly been raising the cost of Tricare enrollment and prescription drug plans for retirees. The House Defense Authorization Bill will put a screeching halt to many of the proposed changes, including fee increases for retirees. This is yet another win for the men and women in military service who work harder than most for their pay.