President Donald Trump wants to give service members their biggest pay raise in a decade.
The Defense Department's proposed $718 billion budget for fiscal 2020 includes a 3.1 percent pay raise, according to the Office of Management and Budget. That compares with the 2.6 percent pay hike that troops received starting in January.
If the budget is approved by Congress, it would mark the largest pay increase for troops since 2010, when they received a 3.4 percent raise, according to the Defense Department.
After 2010, troops saw smaller pay raises under former President Barack Obama until the final two years of his administration. In both 2014 and 2015, the pay raise was 1 percent, before increasing to 1.3 percent in 2016 and 2.1 percent as of January 2017.
During a Dec. 26 visit with U.S. troops in Iraq, Trump inaccurately claimed that he had secured the first pay raise for troops in more than 10 years, as first reported by Military Times' Leo Shane. The president also suggested that he had favored giving service members a much higher increase in pay.
“They had plenty of people that came up,” Trump said. “They said: 'You know, we could make it smaller. We could make it 3 percent. We could make it 2 percent. We could make it 4 percent.'
“I said: 'No. Make it 10 percent. Make it more than 10 percent.' Because it's been a long time. It's been more than 10 years. It's been more than 10 years. That's a long time. And, you know, you really put yourselves out there, and you put your lives out there. So congratulations.”