WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement on the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission’s report released on Thursday:
“The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission has recommended monumental change to the pay and benefits of our all-volunteer military, and I believe the report must be carefully reviewed by Congress. I appreciate the work the commission did and support finding efficiencies and savings not only within our military entitlements and retirement systems, but in all areas of the national budget.
“As Congress reviews military compensation, my greatest concern is that any reform must continue to incentivize the retention of high performers serving in a very challenging environment of protecting Americans and promoting freedom. The current system has done that, and I need to be convinced that any new reform will continue to do so in order to protect the value and quality of an all volunteer force. Any new system must also keep faith with our troops, their families and the retirees when it comes to promised health care benefits. The proposal must protect pharmaceutical benefits, and provide more, not less, choice for active duty family members. Most importantly, I want deployed soldiers to feel confident that their families are being taken care of when they are not present to advocate and support each other on medical decisions.
“We as a nation cannot solve deficit problems on the backs of our military alone, and this should not be the only proposal that looks at entitlement programs. The defense budget accounts for less than 16 percent of our total national budget, and less than 1 percent of our nation services in the armed services. Our national security and our nation’s men and women in uniform have already paid a heavy price under sequestration. I hope in the new Congress we go beyond just scrutinizing spending in the defense department and start assessing our domestic budgets overburdened with runaway spending.”