Senator seeks to move military pay provision

With the timing of the defense authorization bill still in limbo, Senate Republicans today agreed to attach provisions boosting military personnel pay and benefits to either the fiscal 2006 Defense appropriations bill or some other spending measure, Senate aides said.

Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., made the request in a Thursday letter to Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, in which he accused Democrats of slowing work on the authorization measure.

Frist charged in the letter that Democrats "seemingly [prefer] to place the needs of our troops beneath their desire for an open-ended debate on partisan issues," and asked Stevens to work with House leaders to attach the troop pay provisions to the Defense spending bill.

In a reply also sent Thursday, Stevens agreed to try to include the language in either the Defense bill or one of the other annual spending measures.

The authorization measure -- and the troop pay increase and benefit provisions in particular -- have been the subject of an intense and increasingly bitter back and forth between Frist and Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. The offices of both leaders have been involved in a media war for more than week, with each accusing the other of holding up the measure.

While Democrats have complained Frist has put the authorization measure on the back burner in order to address other GOP priorities, Republicans have argued that the only impediment to the authorization bill has been Reid's demand that it be linked to a vote on an independent commission to investigate the Gulf Coast response by the Bush administration.

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

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

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


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