Arlington, VA – Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) is applauding Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), for standing by veterans through the Pentagon’s recently-exposed bonus repayment scandal at the California National Guard.
Thousands of soldiers in California – many of whom served multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan – were ordered to repay enlistment bonuses given to them by the Pentagon over a decade ago. If the veterans were unable to pay back the money, the Pentagon planned to use interest charges, wage garnishments, and tax liens to recoup it. Yesterday Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that the DOD Finance and Accounting Service team is suspending efforts to grab back bonuses from California National Guard veterans until Carter is “satisfied that [the] process is working effectively.”
Rep. Miller calls Sec. Carter’s announcement “nothing more than a weak and ham-handed attempt to shift the focus away from the Obama administration’s shameful treatment of service members and veterans.” Miller points out that there seems to be no clear plan to repay veterans who have already been forced to hand over their bonuses. In addition, there has been no acknowledgment or reassurance that proper steps will be taken to prevent another repayment scandal.
Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) Executive Director Mark Lucas issued the following statement:
“Chairman Miller has been an advocate for veterans through years of mired scandal at the VA, and he continues to fight on behalf of our veterans everyday. The current government system, one which should protect our service men and women, first and foremost, is failing them. It’s an embarrassment for the current administration and our policy makers must stand up, join Rep. Miller and enact long-term legislative solutions that will protect our veterans.”
CVA stands with Jeff Miller and our veterans, urging members of Congress to act quickly to waive the bonus repayments and work together for solutions that will protect our nation’s veterans from future government fraud and abuse.