For the seventh year in a row, G.I. Joe and G.I. Jane won’t be getting much of a pay raise.
President Obama on Wednesday said he will issue an executive order putting a 1.6 percent lid on payroll increases for service members, according to a report in Military Times.
In a letter to Congress, Obama said: “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. 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.”
House Republicans had pushed for a 2.1 percent raise, but that met with resistance in the GOP-controlled Senate.
Obama’s executive order comes as presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s lead shrinks in important swing states with large numbers of retired and active-duty military personnel, including Florida and North Carolina, where the news of another skimpy pay increase from a Democratic administration is unlikely to thrill voters in uniform and those who know what it’s like to subsist on a Pentagon paycheck.
According to the website FiveThirtyEight, Clinton’s edge in Florida has gone from 6.3 percent on Aug. 14 to 3.1 on Aug. 31; in North Carolina during the same period, she is down from a 5.5 percent lead to 1.2 percent.
Military raises will fall below 2 percent for the seventh consecutive year, Military Times said, pointing out that for junior enlisted troops, the 1.6 percent increase works out to about $400 annually.