A House committee made adjustments
to President Bush's proposals on military pay and benefits.
A key House subcommittee yesterday approved a 2.7 percent pay raise for the military next January, slightly higher than the 2.2 percent recommended by President Bush in his fiscal 2007 budget.
The subcommittee also temporarily blocked an administration plan to increase fees in Tricare, the military's health-care program. The plan to raise Tricare fees had drawn spirited protests from military retiree associations and veterans groups.
He said the higher pay raise would help close the gap between military and private-sector salaries -- the eighth consecutive year that military basic pay would increase at a rate higher than the wage growth measured by a Labor Department index.
The bill also would provide money for additional pay raises, effective in April 2007, for warrant officers and mid-grade and senior enlisted personnel that the Pentagon is eager to retain, [House Armed Services subcommittee on military personnel chairman Rep. John M.] McHugh said.
The Military Officers Association of America estimates
that military personnel currently get paid 4.4% less than their counterparts in the private sector, down from a 13.5% gap in the late '90s.