Biden White House pushes back against GOP bill including military pay raise: ‘Would veto it’
The White House is threatening to veto House Republican legislation that would give the military’s junior enlisted troops a 30% raise next year.
“If the president were presented with H.R. 4365, he would veto it.,” the White House said in a press release addressing the proposed legislation Monday.
At issue is the Pentagon spending bill advanced by the House Appropriations Committee earlier this year and scheduled to be voted on by the full House this week.
It includes language that would ensure no member of the military would make less than the equivalent of $15 per hour during a 40-hour work week.
According to a report from Military.com, the legislation would mean an E-1 with at least four months of service would see pay rise to $2,601 per month compared to the $1,918 those members currently make. Meanwhile, an E-6 with less than two years of service would bring in $3,210 per month compared to the current $2,980.
But the White House has pushed back against the bill, claiming in that release that its current language includes “partisan policy provisions with devastating consequences, including harming access to reproductive health care, threatening the health and safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) Americans, endangering marriage equality, hindering critical climate change initiatives and preventing the administration from promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.”
The White House has also objected to the pay bump for junior enlisted members, saying it appreciates “concern for the needs of the nation’s most junior enlisted members’ compensation,” but “strongly opposes making a significant, permanent change to the basic pay schedule” while the administration is already in the process of a review of military compensation.
That review, the 14th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation, is expected to be completed by January 2025, according to the Military.com report.
Another issue, according to the release, is that the bill does not provide for enough funding to cover the cost of increased salaries for members, which the White House said “would create an unfunded requirement of several billion dollars.”
The White House release also raised concerns about the bill creating a “pay compression in some areas of the enlisted military basic pay table,” removing an “important incentive for enlisted members to seek increased responsibilities and earn promotions at the grade of E-6 and higher, harming military readiness.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.