The U.S. House of Representatives approved a defense appropriations bill this week that would boost military pay by 2.2 percent. But some veterans’ groups say the raise is too small, especially considering that there are wars underway in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Washington Post reported.

The Military Officers Association of America, known as MOAA, yesterday urged Congress to approve a 2.7 percent across-the-board raise for the armed forces. “As a nation, we ought to do better for our military than we are about to do,” said Norb Ryan Jr., president of MOAA and a retired vice admiral.

The House initially proposed 2.7 percent pay increase in a previous bill but has since lowered that amount to the 2.2 percent raise backed by the Senate. That’s interesting considering:

Ryan said that regardless of which proposed raise gets adopted, it would be the smallest military raise in 11 years. Over much of the past decade, MOAA and other advocates for military personnel have pushed to close a salary gap with the private sector, and from 2000 through 2006 Congress approved increases slightly higher than the average wage growth in the private sector, as measured by a Labor Department index.

And here comes the kicker:

The raise issue is also complicated by a separate appropriations bill that covers federal workforce issues. The House approved a 2.7 percent raise for the civil service in that bill. The Senate version, which awaits a floor vote, recommends the same size raise.

DANIEL STRUMPF

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