[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1995, Book II)] [December 28, 1995] [Pages 1930-1931] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]
Letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives on Supplemental Legislation To Increase Military Pay and Housing Allowances December 28, 1995 Sir: Today I returned to Congress without my approval H.R. 1530, the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 1996, which includes authority for the annual military pay raise. I consider passage of the annual military pay raise to be of crucial importance. Accordingly, I ask Congress to consider the enclosed FY 1996 supplemental language request that would authorize a 2.4 percent pay raise and other allowance increases. I vetoed H.R. 1530 Act because it would restrict my Administration's ability to carry out national security policy and would substantially interfere with the implementation of key national defense programs. Moreover, certain provisions in the Act raised serious constitutional issues by restricting my authority to conduct foreign affairs and to act as Commander in Chief. Nevertheless, I believe that our men and women in uniform should not be harmed as we work to obtain a bill that I can support. [[Page 1931]] Therefore, I ask the Congress to enact the supplemental language to provide the increases in military pay and housing allowances, effective January 1, 1996, that both Congress and I fully support. If this legislation is not enacted, our military personnel will receive a 2.0 percent raise instead of a needed 2.4 percent raise. The legislation is also required to provide an additional increase in the Basic Allowance for Quarters that will help improve the quality of life of our service members and their families. Speedy enactment of this legislation is imperative at a time when our military personnel are working under challenging conditions to help implement the peace agreement in Bosnia. I urge Congress to enact this legislation as quickly as possible. Sincerely, William J. Clinton Note: This letter was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary but was not issued as a White House press release.