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Funds for Afghan refugee families offset military pay raise for next year

Congress recently approved a federal budget plan that would avert a government shutdown, but it may be at the cost of active-duty military pay raises next year.
Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 8:48 PM CST
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FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) - Congress recently approved a federal budget plan that would avert a government shutdown, but it may come at the cost of active-duty military pay raises next year.

The House voted to provide $7 billion of its federal budget for the care and resettlement of Afghan refugees, but that money will offset the cost of a military raise that was set to go into effect January 1, 2022.

While funding for an active-duty pay raise is yet to be determined, Army Veteran Jeremy Fay says he understands the decision.

“There’s gonna be losers no matter which way you go on this,” he said.

“One of the most prized assets were local interpreters that were bilingual. As such, they were targeted many times. I had two of my interpreters that were killed. So, whenever we take care of those who aided us in our mission in Afghanistan, that’s going to be encouraging for future cooperation in the future with local nationals.”

While the budget approved is only for January and February, lawmakers are already trying to find other ways to provide funding for the pay raise.

Texas A&M Central Texas Chairman of Accounting & Finance Rob Tennant says offsets like this have happened before.

“It’s not uncommon at all for businesses and certainly not for the federal government because something comes up, whether it be a pandemic, hurricane, tornado,” he said.

“So, there are lots of things that governments have to face as well that can take a shot to their budgeting.”

Regardless of history, Fay remains optimistic that something can be done to help take care of the families who sacrifice everything for our freedom.

“I’m hopeful that lawmakers are able to make a way and move money around,” he said.

“You don’t want to see anything go underfunded, but when it comes to our service men and women, that needs to be at the front of our lawmakers’ minds.”

With the future of a pay raise unknown, both Tennant and Fay add this is why local non-profits and food pantries are critical this holiday season; and encourage to donate if you’re able to do so.

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