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Rep. Chu Statement on Pentagon Forcing Veterans to Repay Enlistment Bonuses

October 25, 2016
Press Release

Pasadena, CA – Ten years ago, the California National Guard began offering bonuses of $15,000 or more to encourage enlistment in order to meet our country’s needs to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This week, it was reported that the Pentagon is requiring nearly 10,000 veterans to return that money, stating that these cash incentives were improperly distributed. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement:

“I am proud of the Californians who answered our call when we needed men and women to serve and defend our country. And I am equally as shocked that now, those same men and women are being asked to pay for another’s mistake. The Pentagon’s error has now turned into a penalty for others, with many soldiers facing excessive interest charges, tax liens, and even wage garnishments if they do not comply. These servicemen and women acted in good faith, at times extending their years of service in exchange for these bonuses – years of their lives they cannot get back.  It is now the responsibility of Congress to provide a legislative fix to address this error. I call on the Department of Defense to halt these collections and for Congressional leadership to bring up legislation for a vote as soon as we return in November.”

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