Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reportedly believes the military should receive a pay cut in order to respond to the budget cuts facing the Pentagon — a position that might strengthen the Republican push to reverse President Obama’s executive order raising the salary of Vice President Joe Biden and other federal officials.
“Panetta will recommend to Congress that military salaries be limited to a one percent increase in 2014,” CNN reports, explaining that Panetta is “effectively decreasing troop salaries next year . . . The decision comes as the secretary is stepping up the rhetoric about dire cuts at the Pentagon if sequestration goes into effect.”
The debate about sequestration did not stop Obama from ending a pay freeze for some government officials, effectively authorizing a pay raise that costs $11 billion.
“The President’s pay hike even increases the salary for federal employees who receive poor performance reviews from their own supervisors,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said when a group of lawmakers proposed legislation to reverse the pay increase. “As President Obama continues to say one thing and do another on deficit spending, it is appropriate for Congress to challenge his unilateral decision to spend $11 billion on non-merit based pay raises for federal workers.”