On June 5, the House Armed Services Committee voted on the FY2014 National Defense Authorization Act mark up - their edited version of the bill to authorize funding the DoD in FY 2014. The full committee voted 59 - 2 to forward their marked up version of the NDAA to the House floor for a final vote.
As expected the HASC mark up dumped the two DoD proposals which most clearly impact compensation and retirement benefits - the HASC version of the NDAA includes a 1.8 percent across the board pay increase and eliminates the DoD's proposed TRICARE hikes.
The Armed Services Committee staff issued a summary explaining their decisions, including a direct response to DoD's claims of climbing unsustainable TRICARE costs:
"The Committee has already put TRICARE on a sustainable path through reforms in several recent NDAAs. Those reforms connect TRICARE fee increases to retiree cost of living increases. DoD’s record of incorrectly calculating TRICARE costs and their repeated requests to transfer billions in unused funds out of the program to cover other underfunded defense priorities raises questions about repeated claims by the Department of Defense that the Defense Health Program is unsustainable."
The FY2014 NDAA now heads to the floor for House vote. Once the bill passes the full House the ball will be in the Senate's court.