The Biden administration “strongly opposes” a congressional proposal to raise the pay of junior enlisted service members.

In a statement on its position on the House’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the White House said it did not support the proposal equivalent to approximately $24.4 billion over five years.

“The Administration is strongly committed to taking care of our Servicemembers and their families, and appreciates the Committee’s concern for the needs of the most junior enlisted members, but strongly opposes making a significant, permanent change to the basic pay schedule before the completion of the Fourteenth Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation (QRMC),” the White House stated.

“Joe Biden must hate our military. While families of our junior enlisted struggle on food stamps, this administration opposes their pay raises and wants to force feed them pronoun training and drag queen story hour. If Biden had any PRIDE at all in our troops, he’d support the long overdue pay raise House Republicans have passed,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said.

Per Daily Caller:

The Biden administration has spent over $175 billion on aid to Ukraine and European security since 2022 — roughly one-seventh of the proposed pay hike for the junior troops, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. The $175 billion amount is broken into several packages over the course of two years, including the most recent aid package of $61 billion in April.

“When accounting for inflation, the average American makes less today than when Joe Biden took office. The White House wants to block Republicans from giving our troops the raise they need to make ends meet in the Biden economy,” Republican Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, a HASC member, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Meanwhile, they’ve sent the Ukrainian government $11,500 per Ukrainian household. It’s shameful.”

Bipartisan members of the HASC promoted the pay increase for junior troops as a way to improve recruiting and retention, a problem that the military has increasingly struggled with. A year-long study conducted by the HASC and published in April found that “servicemembers, especially junior enlisted servicemembers and servicemembers supporting large families, struggle to afford housing and feed their families.”

“During these challenging economic times, our troops not only deserve a raise—they need one. That’s why the FY25 NDAA authorizes a 19.5% pay increase for junior enlisted servicemembers. We’re standing behind those who defend us,” the House Rules Committee wrote.


From The Hill:

This year’s NDAA is actually named the Servicemember Quality of Life Improvement and National Defense Authorization Act to underscore the focus on improving conditions for military service members and their families. The bill passed out of the Armed Services Committee with a bipartisan vote, especially on the quality-of-life recommendations.

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), ranking member of the committee, told the House Rules Committee on Tuesday that the “people are irreplaceable” in the military and the bill “goes after” improving their lives.

“Many of our junior enlisted are struggling to afford housing. Housing costs have gone up, their pay has not kept up,” he said. “This is a bold step to try to make sure we support them.”

The White House said that last year’s NDAA included a 5.2 percent basic pay increase, the largest since 2003, along with another 5.4 percent increase for a basic housing allowance. The 2025 NDAA budget request asks for a 4.5 percent increase as well.

“If the President’s FY 2025 request is enacted, servicemembers will have received a 15 percent basic pay increase in just three years,” the White House said in a statement outlining opposition to the provision. “The House proposed changes would lead to pay compression in some parts of the enlisted military basic pay table.”

Read the full White House statement HERE.

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