Senate Republicans cried crocodile tears over the delay of the Defense Authorization bill, criticizing Democrats for denying a pay raise for our troops. But they said nothing about the fact that it was Democrats who initially proposed the 3.5% pay raise and that the White House has gone on record opposing it, claiming it would be too costly. The only things standing between our troops and their pay raise is the White House and Senate Republicans intent on blocking any effort the change course in Iraq. The good news is Senate Republicans still have time to end their filibuster and work with Democrats to pass the Defense Authorization bill, ensuring that our troops receive the pay raise they deserve.
Republicans decried delaying pay raise for our troops:
Senator McCain Criticized Pulling DOD Authorization Bill Because It Would Delay Giving Our Troops a Pay Raise. “We are not allowing a 3.5 percent pay raise to the men and women in the military.” [Republican Press Conference, 7/18/07]
Senator Lott Criticized Pulling DOD Authorization Because It Would Prevent Pay Raise for Troops. “And there are some important amendments to the underlying bill for how we deal with detainees and the future of our missile defense program, as well as all the different program: ships, plans, vehicles, equipment, quality of life, pay raise. This is important legislation. No excuse for pulling this down.” [Republican Press Conference, 7/18/07]
Republicans said nothing about Bush administration’s opposition to pay raise:
White House Opposed Democratic Plan to Raise Military Pay 3.5%. “The White House is trying to kill a Democratic plan to increase the size of a military pay raise next year, contending it would be too costly and that members of the armed forces are already sufficiently compensated. In a letter from the White House Office of Management and Budget to congressional committees overseeing the military, OMB director Rob Portman said Wednesday that the administration "strongly opposes" a Democratic plan to bump up military salaries by 3.5 percent instead of Bush’s request for a 3 percent jump.” [Boston Globe, 5/19/07]
Republicans still have time to end their obstruction and give our troops pay raise:
Senator Reid Noted Pay Raise Would Not Go Into Effect Until October. “No, we — of course, understand we didn’t put off the pay raise. We didn’t put off the pay raise. As I said on the floor, if the bill passed a week ago, if it passed today, anything in that bill does not become effective until next October, the end of the fiscal year. So we didn’t put off anything.” [Democratic Press Conference, 7/18/07]