House Democratic Leaders Write to President Bush on Troop Pay Raises, Widows' Benefits

May 18, 2007
Blog
As noted yesterday, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy (pdf) declaring their opposition to a 3.5% pay raise for the troops and an additional $40 per month for widows of slain soldiers, as well as additional benefits for surviving family members of civilian employees and price controls for prescription drugs under TRICARE.

Today, Democratic Leaders issued a joint letter to President, calling on him to drop his opposition to Democratic plans to give troops the pay raise they deserve and increase benefits for surviving spouses of men and women in uniform:

May 18, 2007

The Honorable George W. Bush

President

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

We are writing to urge you to reconsider your objections to H.R. 1585, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008.

Your office's recent Statement of Administration Policy on H.R. 1585 raised several concerns regarding this bipartisan legislation that the House of Representatives passed yesterday by an overwhelming 397-27 margin.

In particular, the Statement of Administration Policy on H.R. 1585 objected to sections 601 and 606, which raises military pay 0.5% above your proposal, and Section 644, which provides an extra $40 per month for surviving spouses of fallen members of our armed services.

Mr. President, you have consistently called on Congress and the American people to support our troops. Considering the sacrifices that our military families make, the Democratic proposal to provide the troops with the pay raise they deserve and an increase in benefits for the spouses they may leave behind is one small way that we can support our troops.

When it comes to supporting our troops, our actions must match our words. Please join us in supporting our troops by reconsidering both your veto threat to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, and your objections to an increase in military pay and survivor benefits for the brave men and women serving our country in the armed forces.

Respectfully,

Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House

Steny Hoyer

Majority Leader

James E. Clyburn

Majority Whip

Rahm Emanuel

Chair, Democratic Caucus

Ike Skelton

Chair, House Armed Services Committee

Ellen Tauscher

Chair, Strategic Forces Subcommittee

Steve Israel

Member of Congress