For months, President Barack Obama has been pushing for a 1 percent pay raise for troops rather than the 1.8 percent they would receive under the government's formula. Earlier this week, he told Congress he was exercising his position as the government's pay agent in order to do just that, Military Times reports.
The announcement comes after Congress has failed to come to an agreement on the pay raise, and with the Department of Defense looking to cut costs as sequestration continues to have an impact, reducing the pay raises seemed like the smart move. Obama made the announcement in a letter sent to Congress and said that while this is committed to supporting the troops, economic conditions have forced him to take drastic steps.
"As our country continues to recover from serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare, however, we must maintain efforts to keep our Nation on a sustainable fiscal course," he wrote. "This effort requires tough choices, especially in light of budget constraints faced by Federal agencies."
Obama's plan would go into action Jan. 1, but it can be changed if Congress takes appropriate action. Specifically, lawmakers need to find $580 million for 2014 to make up for the savings garnered from the pay raise reduction.