The Pentagon is reportedly planning to cut overseas service members’ cost-of-living allowances next month, even as it continues to subsidize travel for its employees to get abortions.
According to Military.com, the Defense Department “announced in May that service members stationed overseas, including troops in Alaska and Hawaii, would see cuts to their cost-of-living allowance.” While the first cut in allowances occurred on May 15, the second is slated to happen on Nov. 15 and will be reflected in service members’ Dec. 1 paychecks. More than 230,000 military members receive these payments, according to the outlet.
The purpose of overseas cost-of-living allowances, or OCOLA, is to help service members stationed in remote locations offset costs of basic necessities that are typically more expensive due to their base’s distance from the contiguous United States. Increased inflation and changing currency rates, however, have supposedly resulted in “the gap … diminish[ing], leading to the cuts.”
“OCOLA is based on a service member’s spendable income and does not consider money a spouse earns,” Military.com explained. “It’s calculated by comparing the price of goods and services overseas with the average cost for equivalent products in the States, which creates an index for the cost-of-living allowance. Service members receive an increase only if costs are higher overseas compared to prices stateside.”
Unnamed senior defense officials tried to justify the cuts, claiming in May that an “across-the-board” pay raise for service members this year will result in a “higher take-home pay even with OCOLA reductions than what they had in 2022.”
While the Pentagon seemingly can’t find enough funds to support service members in acquiring basic needs, it’s been more than willing to spend countless U.S. taxpayer dollars for its female employees to get abortions.
In February, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced that the agency would financially cover abortion-related travel expenses for service members and their dependents. This prompted Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville to launch a protest of the policy the following month. Using his position on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Tuberville has been slow-walking military promotions requiring Senate confirmation.
To be clear, Tuberville is not blocking votes, but is forcing the Armed Services Committee to vote on each nomination individually rather than voting “en masse on large numbers of nominations.”
The Alabama Republican has since come under a barrage of attacks from Austin, top-ranking military officials, and Democrats (I repeat myself), who have baselessly claimed Tuberville’s protest is harming U.S. “military readiness” and “national security.” Former CIA Director Michael Hayden — a Trump-Russia collusion hoaxer who joined more than 50 former intelligence officials in signing a letter claiming Hunter Biden’s laptop was Russian disinformation — took his unhinged criticisms a step further by apparently calling for Tuberville’s assassination.
Despite Democrats’ hysteria, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tacitly admitted he had the power to bring military promotions to the Senate floor the entire time last month after he filed cloture on several Biden nominees. Meanwhile, Tuberville has since doubled down, reaffirming in a Tuesday tweet that he’ll continue his protest until the Pentagon lifts its abortion policy.
“To be clear, I don’t care if Senate Republicans break with me or not. I’m not dropping my holds until the policy is revoked,” Tuberville wrote. “The DOD should be worried about defending our nation instead of forcing the taxpayers to fund elective abortions.”