President Barack Obama invoked executive privilege to drop military pay below the civilian rate Wednesday for the fourth year in a row, according to a letter he sent to Congress.

Obama relied on his executive authority to give servicemembers a raise effective Jan. 1, but unfortunately for troops, that raise only turns out to 1.6 percent, which is 0.5 percent lower than present figures in the private sector. Military pay is intended to track private sector wages by law.

It’s now the fourth year Obama has followed this particular pattern, Military Times reports.

“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 said in the letter. “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,” he added.

Obama said exactly the same thing to Congress in 2015.

Supposing Obama’s pay proposal goes unchallenged, 2017 will be the seventh year of raises below 2 percent. And the Pentagon is in agreement. Obama’s very limited pay increase acts in accordance with the Department of Defense’s fiscal year 2017 budget of $583 billion.

Article posted with permission from The Daily Caller Foundation.

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