Hill Negotiators Ignore Obama and Give Troops Biggest Pay Raise in 6 Years

Staff Sgt. Rich Stowell / U.S. Army file photo

Military service members would receive a 2.1 percent pay boost in 2017 under the fiscal 2017 Defense authorization bill finalized by lawmakers.

The pay increase, which would be the biggest annual boost in six years, is more than the 1.6 percent increase President Obama had recommended. The Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act included the 1.6 percent figure, but the House version called for a 2.1 percent increase. The congressional conference committee hammering out differences between the two bills settled on the larger amount, according to news reports and a Tuesday background briefing with the House Armed Services Committee. Congress still has to approve the final draft of the legislation before it heads to President Obama.

The White House in May threatened to veto the House version of the NDAA, partly because of the 2.1 percent military pay raise.

The bill crafted by the conference committee also would make changes to TRICARE enrollment fees for new service members. Current troops and retirees would not be affected by the change.

Federal civilian employees are on track to receive a 1.6 percent raise in 2017. On Tuesday, the Obama administration unveiled the 2017 locality pay rates for federal workers across the country.

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