Lawmakers disregarded Defense Secretary Robert Gates‘s calls for fiscal restraint on Thursday, approving a military pay raise higher than President Obama and the Pentagon requested.

The House Armed Services personnel subcommittee approved a 1.9 percent pay bump for uniformed military personnel, half of a percentage
point higher than Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget. The markup also increased
hostile fire pay and family separation allowances.

“This raise will further reduce the gap between military and private-sector pay raises,” said subcommittee chairman Susan Davis (D-Calif.).

But the raise is in direct disagreement with the wishes of Gates, who plans to push for at least $15 billion in cuts from the Pentagon’s
budget, mostly from contracts and administrative redundancies. He also
called special attention to Pentagon personnel costs.

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