Rep. Rice Statement on Attempts to Claw Back Bonuses from Servicemembers
GARDEN CITY, NY – U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice, a member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, released the following statement today regarding recent reports that the California National Guard is forcing thousands of servicemembers to repay bonuses that were offered as re-enlistment incentives during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Statement from Representative Kathleen Rice:
“It is outrageous that the National Guard would try to claw back bonuses and benefits that were promised and paid to keep servicemembers in the military when we needed them most. Anyone who committed fraud or mismanagement in the reenlistment incentive program should be held accountable for their actions – but we cannot stick servicemembers and veterans with the tab for overpayments they received through no fault of their own. Congress must act quickly to forgive these debts as soon as we reconvene in November, and our government must get more serious about honoring the commitments we make to the men and women who risk their lives to protect us. When we see attempts to claw back bonuses, or veterans struggling to get the health care they need, or lawmakers seeking to save money by slashing post-9/11 GI Bill benefits – that sends a message to our next generation of servicemembers that our government doesn’t always keep the promises we make when they sign up to serve, and that’s a serious threat to our national security.”