Lawmakers Condemn Pentagon Effort to Recover Enlistment Bonuses From California Soldiers

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Lawmakers on Sunday condemned a Pentagon effort to recoup enlistment bonuses improperly paid to thousands of California National Guard soldiers a decade ago, saying the overpayments were not the soldiers’ fault and calling on the Pentagon or Congress to waive their debts.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy pledged a House investigation of the problem, calling the Pentagon demands for repayment of bonuses from combat veterans “disgraceful.”

McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) said the House would demand a briefing from the National Guard Bureau, the Pentagon agency that oversees the California branch of the Guard.

The Times reported that the Pentagon was demanding repayment of enlistment bonuses — which often reached $15,000 or more — from about 9,700 California Guard soldiers, many of whom served multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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