[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

    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 
    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.

                                                      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.