Lawmaker demands action on California enlistment bonus recall
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Oct 24, 2016
A California congressman urged the Defense Department and members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to rescind a call for National Guard members in his state to pay back enlistment bonuses of $15,000 or more that were paid out to them years ago because of mismanagement of the incentive program.
The call from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) comes in the wake of an Oct. 22 Los Angeles Times article that reported that about 10,000 members of the California National Guard have been ordered to repay enlistment or re-enlistment bonuses they were granted during the height of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Issa condemned what he called the California National Guard’s “outrageous decision to punish nearly 10,000 current and retired veterans for the incompetence and wrongdoing of others.”
“Due to extreme mismanagement of this bonus program that was discovered in subsequent years, the Department of Defense has decided to renege on its commitment and order the repayment of these enlistment bonuses,” Issa wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary Ash Carter. “The Department of Defense should immediately halt the retrieval of these debts, and when Congress returns in November, I will insist this issue be permanently resolved with language in the National Defense Authorization Act awaiting final passage in both chambers.”
Issa demanded that DOD inform his office of steps the department plans to take to resolve the issue “in a way that makes whole every one of these veterans.”
The lawmaker sent a similar letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees.