In a letter to Congress, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin Dempsey asked that the top brass be allowed to keep their aides and pensions, while lawmakers would like to make cuts.
In Dempsey's Nov. 12 letter, he said he would like those in the House and Senate Armed Services committees to address compensation for members of the military through comprehensive reform and not in pieces, Air Force Col. Ed Thomas, Dempsey's spokesperson said, according to USA Today,
which obtained the letter.
"The chairman supports congressional reviews of these programs," Thomas said. "His recommendation was simply to ensure changes are part of a deliberate review."
California Rep. Jackie Speier, a Democrat and member of the House Armed Services Committee, said that the "insane" military pensions and other benefits need to be cleaned up, and it should be done so in the National Defense Authorization Act
approved by both the House and Senate last week.
"This is what happens when over time requests are made by the brass at the Pentagon to the committees of the House and Senate charged with the NDAA," Speier said.
"In an effort to make friends, Congress has acquiesced," the California Democrat added.
In 2007, pensions for top military officers were increased 63 percent, after a request was made by the Pentagon for the purpose of encouraging officers and generals to stay on during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Long-serving officers could receive more than their active-duty pay, which can't be more than $181,500. The most paid to any military member in 2012 was $272,892, which went to a retired four-star general.
The House and Senate committees are proposing several changes including capping pensions at $181,500 per year and reducing aides for brass who cook, clean and receive guests. Under the proposal, added to the defense spending bill, the 300 such aides would drop by 40.
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