Congressman Garamendi Introduces “National Guard Pay Integrity Act” to protect California National Guardsmen from Bonus Clawbacks

WASHINGTON, DC- This week, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, Davis, Yuba City), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, announced the introduction of H.R. 6319, the National Guard Pay Integrity Act, to protect nearly 10,000 soldiers from attempts by the Department of Defense to reclaim the bonuses and incentives they were paid upon enlisting or reenlisting during our nation’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“These brave men and women signed up to serve our country, and believed in return that the country would have their back in return. We need to have their backs too” said Garamendi. “The Department of Defense has taken a necessary first step by stopping collection efforts, but that is far from enough. My legislation will solve the problem by eliminating these debts entirely for those who accepted bonuses in good faith.”

Congressman Garamendi’s comprehensive legislation will not only protect Guardsmen from future collection efforts, but also allow any Guardsman who has already paid back a bonus wholly or in part to obtain reimbursement. It also includes measures to protect student loan payments that were made on Guardsmen’s behalf as part of a recruitment or re-enlistment bonus, while excluding anyone who obtained a bonus through their own fraud or misrepresentation.

“Our veterans made tremendous sacrifices, and should not pay the price for mistakes made by recruiters. Congress should act as soon as possible to honor the promises we made.”

The legislation is sponsored by Reps. Sherman (D-CA), DeFazio (D-OR) and McGovern (D-MA).