President Bush on Pay Raises for Our Troops
July 20, 2007
President Bush, moments ago:
I’m joined by veterans and military families here to express support to our troops and their mission in Iraq. I want to thank you all for being here today. We’ve just finished a really good meeting. In our discussions, these folks had a message that all of us in Washington need to hear. It is time to rise above partisanship, stand behind our troops in the field, and give them everything they need to succeed. In February I submitted to Congress a Defense Department spending bill for the upcoming fiscal year that will provide funds to upgrade our equipment for our troops in Iraq and provides a pay raise for our military – a comprehensive spending request – that Congress has failed to act on.
Military Pay: The Administration strongly opposes sections 601 and 606. The additional 0.5 percent increase above the President's proposed 3.0 percent across-the-board pay increase is unnecessary.
On May 18, 2007, Democratic Leaders wrote to President Bush urging him to reconsider. On May 22nd, Rep. Patrick Murphy, an Iraq veteran, denounced the President over the matter:
“But the fact is, is that those privates who are making $17,000 a year, those privates that are leaving their wives, their kids at home, many of whom have to survive on food stamps, those privates who saw what we did in the defense bill, who said that’s great, 3.5% pay increase, not even $1,000 more a year, a couple hundred dollars a year, the President of the United States said, private, ‘Thank you for your service to your country, but that’s too much of a pay increase.’ Mr. Speaker, I hope the people at home are watching. The President of the United States said a couple hundred dollars more a year to a private making $17,000 a year is too much.”