“President Obama on Wednesday confirmed plans to cap the military pay raise at 1.6 percent next year, a move which lawmakers and military advocates have already warned will hurt military families’ personal finances.
In a letter to Congress, Obama invoked his executive powers to set the pay level at 0.5 percent below the expected increase in private sector wages, which would mark the fourth year in a row troops’ pay hikes failed to keep pace with their civilian peers. The president called the move unfortunate but necessary.
“I am strongly committed to supporting our uniformed service members, who have made such great contributions to our nation over more than a decade of war,” Obama wrote. “As our country continues to recover from serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare, however, we must maintain efforts to keep our nation on a sustainable fiscal course.
“This effort requires tough choices, especially in light of budget constraints.”
The language is identical to the letter Obama sent to Congress in summer 2015, when he set the military pay raise for this year at 1.3 percent. If it stands, 2017 will mark the seventh consecutive year of military pay hikes below 2 percent.
The president’s move is not a surprise, since the White House and Pentagon have been advocating for the 1.6 percent mark since February to preserve funding for other modernization and training priorities. The lower-than-expected raise will save more than $300 million in fiscal 2017 alone, and more than $2.2 billion over the next five years.”
Read the full article at Militarytimes.com