Palazzo Demands Secretary of Defense Halt Payback of National Guard Bonuses

Biloxi, MS –Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-MS), Chairman of the Congressional National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus, and Co-Chairman Tim Walz (D-MN) sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense demanding an immediate stop to the recoupment of bonuses paid to members of the California National Guard. The letter was cosigned by a bipartisan group of more than 190 Members of Congress.

“The Department of Defense is completely wrong to ask for the return of these bonuses, in some cases, more than 10 years after they were paid out” Palazzo said. “We are demanding that the Secretary of Defense immediately stop the recoupment of these bonuses and forgive all bonuses that were received honestly with no attempt to deceive on the part of the service member.”

The letter, addressed to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, clearly outlines the available legal means for forgiveness of these payments. Answers to the questions posed in the letter are requested back by no later than December 1st. If the Secretary of Defense is unwilling or unable to act under current legal authorities, Congress stands ready to provide the means necessary to ensure our men and women who served in uniform are not unfairly punished.