Hudson's Soldier Pay Amendment Added to NDAA

May 23, 2018
Hudson’s Soldier Pay Amendment Added to NDAA
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (NC-08), Fort Bragg’s Congressman, released the following statement after his amendment to ensure soldier pay adequately reflects modern warfare demands was added to the FY19 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):
“As Fort Bragg’s Congressman, I take seriously my responsibility to guarantee our troops have the best tools, equipment and training they need to carry out their missions,” said Rep. Hudson. “And that includes supporting the most important asset we have – the individual soldier. This amendment asks the Secretary of Defense to evaluate whether we are paying our soldiers appropriately based on the realities of today’s warfare. I’m pleased my colleagues unanimously supported this measure, and I look forward to seeing it pass the House as part of the final NDAA tomorrow.”  
Last night, Rep. Hudson’s amendment was adopted to the NDAA, the annual defense policy bill. The final package will be considered on the House floor tomorrow.
Traveling through the district and meeting with soldiers and their families, Rep. Hudson became aware of tax and pay problems for service members and is tackling that on multiple fronts. When a soldier is deployed to areas of the world where there are additional risks, they become eligible for special pay benefits including Hostile Fire Pay and Imminent Danger Pay. These are designated areas where soldiers may actively face enemy fire or face the potential to be killed, injured or wounded by hostile actions. Currently, these areas are defined by wide geographic regions. They can be designated as entire countries, such as Iraq, or more precise regions within a country.
However, as our soldiers know all too well, modern conflict does not always fit neatly into geographic regions. With the increase in missions to combat terrorism globally, soldiers are now frequently operating across multiple borders working together with partner forces. Unfortunately, this fluid nature of combat means that sometimes service members are excluded from receiving special pay that they may otherwise qualify for.
Rep. Hudson’s amendment seeks to remedy that situation by exploring the possibility of making these benefits more flexible. It requests a report from the Secretary of Defense on whether the current system of awarding Imminent Danger Pay and Hostile Fire Pay adequately reflects modern warfare demands. It will ask for his recommendation as to whether a system based on mission authority rather than geography is more appropriate.
This amendment is one part of his efforts to help support our troops and their families. Earlier this month, Rep. Hudson introduced the Special Operations Forces Tax Cut Act (H.R. 5747).
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