Trump’s victory could boost chance for bigger troop pay raises
WASHINGTON — After years of being squeezed, troops and their families are hoping for higher pay raises and the surprise victory of Donald Trump might make that more likely — even before the president-elect takes office in January.
Congress has been debating whether to risk President Barack Obama’s veto by adding $18 billion to the annual defense budget and giving troops the highest pay raise in years. Trump’s election might now embolden Republican lawmakers to press harder this year for that money, or at least a chunk of it, now that it is certain their party has claimed the White House, according to budget experts.
Military pay raises have been held to less than 2 percent since 2011, below that of private sector wage growth, while troops and families have been stressed by deployments. The pay issue has become a top concern and the nonprofit National Military Family Association wrote an open letter to Trump after Tuesday’s election asking that it be made a priority.
Overworked and feeling “nickel-and-dimed,” the military wants the president and Congress to provide the 2.1 percent raises that it is supposed to receive under law, said Joyce Wessel-Raezer, executive director of the association.
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