Military advocates are appealing to Congress to protect pay and benefits by contending that the sacrifices of military service justify special treatment,but there are signs that argument may be losing effectiveness. With spending cuts underway across the federal government and some new lawmakers involved in oversight of the defense budget, there appears to be less support for protecting pay, allowances, and health care for military from major cuts. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, the new chairs woman of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s personnel panel, said April 17 she is ” personally very skeptical” about Defense Department plans to raise Tricare health insurance fees for retirees, and that one percent across the board pay raise proposed by the Defense Department was “regrettably” less than 1.8 percent raise needed to keep pace with private-sector salary growth. But, she made no promises to protect the programs, noting only that the Obama administration’s 2014 budget request reflects “difficult choices” that her panel will have to review.
Posted by: Haley Page