Garcia: Defense bill includes troop pay raise 

Politics and government

News release  

Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, voted in favor of the FY2025 Defense Appropriations bill, which passed out of the House Committee on Appropriations and will now advance to the House floor. This bill includes Garcia’s proposal to give U.S. junior enlisted troops the highest pay raise in history, according to a news release from the congressman’s office. 

“We need to better invest in America’s greatest national security asset: Our brave men and women in uniform,” Garcia said in the release. “I couldn’t be prouder to say this bill reflects my commitment to that all-important mission. Right now, people flipping burgers at fast-food restaurants are getting paid more than those willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. My proposed pay raise will right that wrong.” 

“Military recruitment, retention and morale are at historic lows, and it should come as no surprise. Pentagon leaders are issuing guidance to troops on how to cope with inflation eating their paychecks, and Army leaders are even suggesting that soldiers and their families consider going on food stamps,” Garcia added. “All of this comes at a time when our nation is facing problems of a magnitude unseen since the Axis of Evil, and still President Biden opposes this pay raise for our troops. I encourage my colleagues in the House to stand with our men and women in uniform, vote in favor of this bill, and better ensure America’s national security.” 

The Defense Appropriations bill fully funds the military and refocuses the Pentagon on its core mission: Deter and win wars, the release said.   

The release said Garcia worked to secure the following provisions that are included in the Defense Appropriations bill: 

• Junior Enlisted Pay Raise: $2.5 billion increase to facilitate a 19.5% pay raise for junior enlisted troops (E1-E4). 

• B-21 Raider Procurement: Full funding for the Air Force’s B-21 Raider procurement. 

• U-2S Retirement Prohibition Language: Prohibits the divestment of U-2 aircraft, ensuring continued operational capabilities. 

• US-Israel Anti-Tunnel Cooperation: $80 million increase to enhance anti-tunneling cooperation between the U.S. and Israel. 

• US-Israel Emerging Technology Cooperation: $47.5 million increase to support joint emerging technology initiatives with Israel. 

• US-Israel Counter UAS and Directed Energy Cooperation: $55 million increase to bolster counter unmanned aircraft systems and directed energy cooperation efforts with Israel. 

• Therapeutic Dog Training Program: $16 million increase and accompanying report language to support the therapeutic service dog training program by America’s VetDogs. 

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