Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.), a retired Navy pilot and member of the House Armed Services Committee, played a leading role in advocating for a significant military pay raise as part of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The proposed 19.5% pay raise, accompanied by a 4.5% increase for all service members, aims to address the financial challenges faced by military personnel.

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In a statement to Fox News, Garcia expressed his disappointment with the Biden regime’s opposition to the pay raise, comparing it to a police chief unwilling to pay officers more than $12 an hour. He emphasized the need to provide adequate compensation to military personnel, noting the prevalence of military families relying on food banks for assistance.

“It’s wildly offensive. It’s like a police chief basically saying he doesn’t want to pay his cops that work for the city more than $12 an hour, which is what a starting salary [for a junior recruit is]… In my state, minimum wage is 20, $22 for a McDonald’s worker.” – Rep. Mike Garcia

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The NDAA, which passed the House with a vote of 217 to 199, authorizes approximately $895 billion in military spending. However, the fate of the proposed pay raise remains uncertain as the Biden regime raised concerns about making significant, permanent changes to the military compensation structure before completing the Fourteenth Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation.

Garcia highlighted the longstanding issue of underpayment for junior troops, sharing anecdotes from his time in the Navy when he witnessed sailors struggling to make ends meet. He criticized the prevalence of high-interest payday loans and pawnshops near military installations, indicative of the financial struggles faced by military personnel.

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