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Rogers criticizes President Biden for not support pay increase for junior enlisted service members

On Tuesday, Congressman Mike Rogers (R-AL03) strongly criticized President Joseph R. Biden (D) for opposing a significant pay increase for junior enlisted members of the armed forces.

Rogers is the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. He released a statement on President Biden's objection to the 15% pay raise for junior enlisted servicemembers in the Servicemember Quality of Life Improvement and National Defense Authorization Act (the 2025 NDAA).

"President Biden believes providing the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces with adequate compensation is too costly," said Rogers. "This is offensive and wrong. Too many military families are relying on food banks, SNAP, and WIC in order to put food on the table. Republicans and Democrats on our committee agreed this is unacceptable. The Committee's decision to give junior enlisted servicemembers a targeted 15% pay raise is based on research conducted by our bipartisan Quality of Life Panel in collaboration with the Department of Defense. Instead of supporting this commonsense proposal, President Biden is once again turning his back on our servicemembers. I believe wholeheartedly that the brave Americans who serve in our Armed Forces shouldn't have to worry about making ends meet, unfortunately President Biden doesn't feel the same."

The Armed Services Committee Quality of Life Panel found that many enlisted service members struggle financially, particularly if they have a family. In many cases a specialist first class with a wife and kids, often assigned to a base far from their home and extended family, will often make so little that they qualify for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance payments (what used to be called Food Stamps).

"No servicemember should have to live in squalid conditions," said Rogers. "No military family should have to rely on food stamps to feed their children. And no one serving this country should have to wait weeks see a doctor or a mental health specialist. But that's exactly what many of our servicemembers are experiencing, especially the junior enlisted. This bill will go a long way toward fixing that."

The annual NDAA sets the Defense Department priorities for each fiscal year. The 2025 fiscal year begins on October 1.

Rogers represents Alabama's Third Congressional District.

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