Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey said on Thursday that the Pentagon will continue to review the military’s current pay, pension, and healthcare structure.
A provision in the recent budget agreement includes a $6-billion cut over 10 years to working-age military retirees cost-of-living adjustments, drawing criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.
But a push to keep the funding pitted the senators against leaders in the Defense Department — including Hagel and Dempsey, who reiterated their support for the deal on Thursday.
“We can no longer put off military compensation reform,” Hagel said, noting that he would work with Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., and other members of Congress to review changes next year.
“We all know that we need to slow cost growth in military compensation, otherwise we’ll have to make disproportionate cuts to military readiness and modernization,” Hagel said, while acknowledging that military leaders are aware that some of the proposals will likely be unpopular.
Dempsey added that the Defense Department will have to continue to look at institutional reform — including healthcare and pay compensation — going forward.
Though Dempsey said the budget deal allows the department to handle many of its near-term readiness challenges, Hagel noted that the department still faces huge long-term fiscal challenges.
Hagel and Dempsey declined to comment on where they would recommend cuts to the Defense Department’s budget be made when Congressional appropriators meet next year.
What We're Following See More »
The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at a little-known intersection of politics and entertainment, in which Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon is still raking in residuals from Seinfeld. Here's the digest version: When Seinfeld was in its infancy, Ted Turner was in the process of acquiring its production company, Castle Rock, but he was under-capitalized. Bannon's fledgling media company put up the remaining funds, and he agreed to "participation rights" instead of a fee. "Seinfeld has reaped more than $3 billion in its post-network afterlife through syndication deals." Meanwhile, Bannon is "still cashing checks from Seinfeld, and observers say he has made nearly 25 times more off the Castle Rock deal than he had anticipated."
Donald Trump's "transition team will meet next week with representatives of the tech industry, multiple sources confirmed, even as their candidate largely has been largely shunned by Silicon Valley. The meeting, scheduled for next Thursday at the offices of law and lobbying firm BakerHostetler, will include trade groups like the Information Technology Industry Council and the Internet Association that represent major Silicon Valley companies."
Today in bad news for Donald Trump:
- Newsweek found that a company he controlled did business with Cuba under Fidel Castro "despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal, according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings." In 1998, he spent at least $68,000 there, which was funneled through a consluting company "to make it appear legal."
- The Los Angeles Times reports that at a golf club he owns in California, Trump ordered that unattractive female staff be fired and replaced with prettier women.