Obama opposes 1.9 percent pay raise for military members

Alex Brandon/AP
President Obama on Thursday formally came out against the 1.9 percent military pay raise included in the fiscal 2011 Defense authorization bill.

In a statement of administration policy, the president stood by his February request for a 1.4 percent boost.

"The administration values the service members of the U.S. Armed Forces and believes that the president's proposed 1.4 percent pay increase is appropriate in light of other benefits and other forms of compensation, is targeted to avoid hindering the department's ability to focus on recruiting or retaining for key skills, and will ensure the availability of financial resources needed to sustain our combat power at a time of war," the White House stated.

When the authorization bill passed the House Armed Services Committee, Chairman Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., said the raise reflected the panel's efforts to reduce the pay raise gap between the uniformed services and the private sector and would improve quality of life for service members and their families.

While the administration supports passage of the legislation, it has concerns about several other personnel provisions as well. The White House expressed strong objection to language that would allow the president to create a Unified Medical Command. Administration officials said they believed delegating medical responsibilities to such a command would "render hollow the role of the assistant secretary of Defense for health affairs to serve as the principal departmental official for health and medical matters."

Furthermore, the new structure might add red tape, officials argued. "The imposition of additional organizational structure with the attendant personnel and operational costs it would require could directly conflict with the effort by the administration to eliminate unnecessary bureaucratic layers, headquarters and defense organizations," the White House stated.

The bill as it stands includes an extension of the existing moratorium on many of the pay-for-performance elements of the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System. But the administration said continuing the moratorium would tie Pentagon officials' hands when the National Academy of Public Administration delivers its final report on the pay system to Congress. NAPA is scheduled to submit the report by June 1 and the Defense secretary will have until Aug. 1 to propose a response to the findings.

"Legislating a continued freeze to DCIPS for another year will preclude the secretary of Defense from being able to take meaningful action based on the NAPA review," the policy statement noted.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.