On Personnel Matters:

Senate authorizers agreed to an across-the-board 3.5 percent military pay increase for the 2008 defense authorization bill; the House version contains a similar pay raise also agreed to put back the $1.9 billion the Pentagon would have cut from its 2008 health program as “savings” from raising Tricare fees for military retirees. The Senate Armed Services Committee “rejected the Administration’s proposal to give DOD broad authority to increase Tricare program cost sharing amounts.” The committee’s markup summary (see above) noted that such a cost-sharing increase is “premature” since the analyses required by Congress last year is still forthcoming. (House authorizers also rejected the Tricare fee increase.) The Pentagon also got no satisfaction on the National Security Personnel System, because like their House brethren, Senate authorizers want to limit DOD’s NSPS implementation relative to union activities.