Backing a Higher Pay Raise:

The military personnel panel of the House Armed Services Committee is recommending a 3.5 percent military pay raise for the Fiscal 2008 defense authorization bill, raising the amount by 0.5 percent over the President’s request. A statement from panel chairman Rep. Vic Snyder (D-Ark.) notes that this would mark the ninth consecutive year of pay raises that exceed the employment cost index and “would further reduce the gap between military and private sector raises from 3.9 percent to 3.4 percent from a high of 13.5 percent during fiscal year 1999.” In its markup of the 2008 bill, the panel also would, at DOD’s request, consolidate authorities for special pay, incentive pay, and bonuses “to provide greater flexibility” to manage recruiting and retention. We reported Friday on the panel’s intention to reject Tricare fee hikes and to boost USAF endstrength slightly.