Congress Defies Obama, New Defense Bill Adds More Troops, Gives America’s Military Biggest Pay Raise in 5 Years
By Mike Miller
As President-elect Donald Trump might say, this is “yuge.”
Under the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act, U.S. military personnel would receive a 2.1 percent pay raise in 2017 — the largest increase in five years. In addition, the military would see a significant boost in manpower.
The only thing standing in the way is a potential veto by President Obama.
As reported by the Military Times, the $619 billion bill is Congress’s final offer to Obama, who called for a 1.6 percent increase in August.
According to Stars and Stripes, $3.2 billion is earmarked for an increase in troop numbers, to bolster Marine Corps and Air Force aviation, overhaul military health care, and a requirement to study whether women should be included in the draft.
A proposal requiring women age 18-25 to register with the Selective Service, a requirement for men, was rejected.
While critics have charged Obama with decimating the military throughout his presidency, Trump made rebuilding the military and taking care of veterans a cornerstone of his presidential campaign.
According to senior aides with the House Armed Services Committee, drawdown of the Army would be frozen at 476,000 troops — 16,000 more than Obama requested.
The Marine Corps would increase by 3,000 to 185,000, with the Air Force increasing to 321,000 — 4,000 more than Obama wanted. The Navy would remain at 324,000.