Top House lawmakers have announced that they are looking at “significantly” increasing pay and benefits for enlisted troops as part of next year’s defense authorization bill.
During a Heritage Foundation event on Wednesday, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala) stated both Republicans and Democrats are making the issue of military pay a top priority for 2022.
“One of the things that Chairman Adam Smith and I have been talking about — and we intend to lean into next year — is significantly increasing compensation and benefits packages, particularly for enlisted personnel,” Rogers said.
“We want to maintain a professional military, and we need to compensate them as professionals. And we aren’t doing that right now, particularly in the enlisted ranks,” Rogers said. “So you’re going to see us making some efforts to address some of those concerns.”
“Taking care of our service members and their families is an integral component of the readiness and resiliency of the Joint Force,” spokesperson Monica Matoush said in a statement to Military.com. “We will be looking at next year’s defense budget to ensure we have the right mix of pay and benefits to attract, recruit and retain the most talented military in the world. We will also keep options open if we perceive there may be a shortfall that would negatively affect service members and their families.”
First, lawmakers must finalize this year’s version of the must-pass defense policy bill.
The bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, would support providing a 2.7% base pay raise to all service members come Jan. 1.via Military.com
At the event Wednesday, Rogers stated that military pay needs to be addressed by Congress to recognize the sacrifice of today’s servicemembers.
“People have to remember that we’ve been through two decades of war,” he said. “We’ve worn everything we’ve got out, including our manpower.”