The Trump administration wants to give troops a 2.1 percent pay raise, which is the same figure the Obama administration settled on for 2017.
Budget documents unveiled Tuesday also call for an increase of 4,000 sailors and 4,000 airmen, which would result in an active-duty force of 1.3 million. The figure exceeds Pentagon requests by about 56,000 troops, Military Times reports.
For enlisted troops with four years of service, the pay raise would amount to $50 extra a month, and for officers with six years, that figure would jump to $115 more a month.
While former President Barack Obama’s initially planned troop pay raise for 2017 amounted to 1.6 percent, that figure crept up to 2.1 percent, which Obama signed into law in December. This marked the first pay raise beyond 2 percent since 2011. At the time, Obama noted how disappointed he was in the final bill.
Trump’s electoral victory prompted Congress, specifically Texas GOP Rep. Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services, to be more bold about fighting for a pay increase above the original 1.6 percent analysts predicted.
“I think now you have a situation where the Republicans on the committees can almost dare President Obama to veto it,” Justin Johnson, senior defense budget policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, told Stars and Stripes in November. “It certainly it gives them more flexibility.”
Republicans are hoping to add an additional $37 billion to the $603 billion defense budget request, but those extra funds are unlikely to be allocated to personnel salaries or benefits.
Tuesday’s budget proposal faces an uphill battle in Congress because of dramatic changes to spending caps.
Moreover, the budget appears nowhere near close to fulfilling Trump’s campaign promise for a “historic” rebuilding of the military.
GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told reporters Tuesday that presidential budget proposals usually die quickly, and he believes Trump’s proposal will “find a similar fate.”
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