President Obama signed a bill this week granting military benefits to servicemembers and veterans. House Resolution 3304, formally known as the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014, provides pay and bonuses for active-duty troops. The bill also reforms the military's sexual assault prevention program and strengthens overseas counterterrorism efforts.
In a statement released by the White House, Obama also said that the bill will help put the U.S. on the path to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. One section of the bill allows the executive government to transfer the detainees at Guantanamo Bay to other facilities in the U.S. However, other sections of the bill bar the U.S. from appropriating funds for these transfers – a provision that the president opposes.
The bill also grants military members and civilian defense workers a 1 percent pay raise, according to FOX News. It's the first pay raise for civilians in four years. While many military members were pleased about the pay raise, it is lower than previous raises. The news source reported that servicemembers have been receiving an annual pay raise of 1.8 percent.
According to Just International, the bill also strips military commanders of their ability to overturn sexual assault convictions.