Washington—Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer (both D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the Defense Department’s efforts to claw back reenlistment bonuses and benefit payments paid to service members nearly a decade ago:
“It’s outrageous to force service members who bravely served in Iraq and Afghanistan to return reenlistment bonuses a decade later. The majority of these individuals honored the terms of their contracts, and some paid a heavy price including severe injuries sustained during deployment.
“To now punish these individuals for mistakes and illegal actions of a handful of officials is unconscionable.
“We’ve already called on Defense Secretary Ash Carter to use his existing authority to halt efforts to claw back these bonuses, and we’re encouraged by his recent remarks that the department is looking to resolve this situation.
“However, if Secretary Carter decides not to use that authority, we will introduce legislation when Congress is back in session – and use every opportunity to get it enacted into law before the end of the year – so that service members who unknowingly received improper reenlistment bonuses and other incentives can keep what they earned by wearing our nation’s uniform.”