Escobar Advances Bill to ‘Recruit and Retain’ Military Service Members

Escobar Advances Bill to ‘Recruit and Retain’ Military Service Members

Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith
May 27, 2024

Texas Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (D), along with the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), advanced out of committee H.R. 8070, the Service Member Quality of Life Improvement and National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2025.

The measure included integral provisions brought to the floor by Rep. Escobar for El Paso and Fort Bliss.

The FY25 NDAA base text followed the Escobar and the Quality of Life panel’s final report. The report focused on pay and compensation, housing, health care, childcare and spousal support. These actions were taken so that the United States could continue to recruit and retain the military and civilian workforce.

Because of the new legislation, junior enlisted service members will receive a 19.5% pay raise, and other service members will receive a 4.5% pay raise. The measure will even include evaluations to make sure that the Basic Allowance Service (BAS) will offset the costs of service members’ meals.

Over $17.5 billion have been set aside for military construction projects, $44 million for the completion of the Rail Yard at Fort Bliss and $1.15 billion for the improvement of housing conditions for military services.

“Having had the privilege to serve on the Quality of Life panel, I’m proud to share that the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2025 is a truly bipartisan culmination of the nearly year-long effort spearheaded by our panel for the men and women of our military and their families,” said Escobar.

“The provisions we included invest in our military’s most critical asset - its people. From compensation, military spouse support, childcare to housing and healthcare, we’re ensuring our military can recruit and retain the best our country has to offer,” the congresswoman continued.

“I’m also excited to announce that we’ve built on our work of securing $74 million for the Fort Bliss rail yard last year by bringing an additional $44 million to fully fund that project in this year’s budget,” the representative concluded.

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Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith is a writer and recent graduate, majoring in English.

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