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house Bill H.R. 4413

Preventing Bowe Bergdahl and Other Military Deserters From Getting Back Pay

Argument in favor

Bowe Bergdahl and any other member of the Armed Forces who deserts their post shouldn’t receive back pay or special compensation they accrued during their desertion — that’s just common sense.

John's Opinion
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12/09/2017
Why is this even up for “Debate?”. If you are duly convicted of Desertion in the Military, you have no right to payment of any kind...PERIOD ✅
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Brandi 's Opinion
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12/09/2017
It doesn’t matter why they did what they did. You walk off the job, you don’t get paid no matter what. That’s real life and something everybody knows. This is no exception.
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Jim's Opinion
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12/09/2017
Desertion by definition is being absent for a significant period without authorization. NPD (no pay due) should always be the rule.
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Argument opposed

There could be a complex explanation for a soldier’s desertion, so in some cases it could be wrong to block them from receiving back pay. It’d be better to allow the military to revoke it in some cases.

singinghawk926's Opinion
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12/09/2017
The military has its own system to address the punishment of deserters. The implementation of these laws should be left to the decision of the military. IMH civilian opinion, the military is an imperfect institution as much as the rest of our governing structure. Similarly, It has a history of mistakes. But for 200+ years, we have relied on our military to protect this democracy with their lives, and they have done so with an unparalleled commitment. Micromanagement by a Congress that can’t even get its own act together is both offensive and deserving of ridicule. The only reason I could ever see for interfering with military justice in any way would be violations of human rights. And even then I would give our military commanders my trust before I would give it to elected officials.
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gailnabity's Opinion
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12/09/2017
This is a military case by case decision. Nothing is ever black and white. And people are not perfect. Not the deserter, not the commanders and other leaders not other soldiers in the deserters unit. I do not get why Congress thinks every sad story can be legislated to a rosier conclusion. It’s magical thinking.
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Marques's Opinion
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12/09/2017
This should be a case by case decision. Leave it up to the military to decide proper punishment
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What is House Bill H.R. 4413?

This bill would prohibit Bowe Bergdahl or any other member of the Armed Forces who is guilty of desertion from receiving back pay and other allowances. Such funding would be reserved to provide additional compensation to members of the Armed Forces who are killed, wounded, or injured while searching for a missing member of the Armed Forces who turns out to have deserted.

Impact

Bowe Bergdahl and other members of the Armed Forces who are found guilty of desertion; and the military.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4413

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Steven Pearce (R-NM) introduced this bill to prohibit the military from providing Bowe Bergdahl with back pay and special compensation after pleading guilty to deserting his post in 2009:

“Bowe Bergdahl risked the lives and safety of countless troops by deserting his post in Afghanistan. Despite his actions and being dishonorably discharged, he will not face jail time. This was a mistake. However, the Army’s suggestion that Bergdahl may receive back pay and special compensation accumulated during his desertion would be another massive mistake by the Army. Under no circumstances should a man found guilty of desertion — who endangered military personnel for five years looking for him — be eligible to receive taxpayer dollars. For this reason, I’m proud to introduce this bill to ensure Bergdahl receives no special treatment or pay and ensure this is never even a question in the future.”

This legislation has the support of 10 cosponsors in the House, all of whom are Republicans.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: US Army / Creative Commons)

AKA

No Back Pay for Bergdahl Act

Official Title

To amend the Uniform Code of Military Justice to prevent the receipt of unpaid pay and allowances by Bowe Bergdahl and other members of the Armed Forces who are guilty of desertion and to reserve such unpaid pay and allowances to provide additional compensation to members of the Armed Forces who are killed, wounded, or injured while searching for a missing member of the Armed Forces who turns out to have deserted.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Armed Services
      Military Personnel
    IntroducedNovember 15th, 2017
    Why is this even up for “Debate?”. If you are duly convicted of Desertion in the Military, you have no right to payment of any kind...PERIOD ✅
    Like (151)
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    The military has its own system to address the punishment of deserters. The implementation of these laws should be left to the decision of the military. IMH civilian opinion, the military is an imperfect institution as much as the rest of our governing structure. Similarly, It has a history of mistakes. But for 200+ years, we have relied on our military to protect this democracy with their lives, and they have done so with an unparalleled commitment. Micromanagement by a Congress that can’t even get its own act together is both offensive and deserving of ridicule. The only reason I could ever see for interfering with military justice in any way would be violations of human rights. And even then I would give our military commanders my trust before I would give it to elected officials.
    Like (172)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a military case by case decision. Nothing is ever black and white. And people are not perfect. Not the deserter, not the commanders and other leaders not other soldiers in the deserters unit. I do not get why Congress thinks every sad story can be legislated to a rosier conclusion. It’s magical thinking.
    Like (68)
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    This should be a case by case decision. Leave it up to the military to decide proper punishment
    Like (45)
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    It doesn’t matter why they did what they did. You walk off the job, you don’t get paid no matter what. That’s real life and something everybody knows. This is no exception.
    Like (42)
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    Desertion by definition is being absent for a significant period without authorization. NPD (no pay due) should always be the rule.
    Like (35)
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    Equal pay for equal exploitation. War is murdering people, so rich old men can get richer. Punishment for men who wake up to this realization on the battlefield has to stop. This bill is meant to hurt Americans.
    Like (32)
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    Until we know exactly what led to the behavior, punishment is the last thing we need to do. My experience is that people do the best they can given where they are and I can’t imagine the terror and horror of war. Could bullying be a factor? Anxiety? No, we need to take better care of our veterans, not look for ways to punish them.
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    Stop defending a worthless person who knowingly abandoned his post. He should not receive any such payments nor the ability to do anything in this country. Demote his ass as well. He didn’t earn those stripes.
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    There is often a mental health component to desertion. Those service members should not be penalized. Every case is different and should be decided based on the individual circumstances.
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    Any deserter should not get any backpay. They should lose all their benefit if found guilty and no backpay. I’m a veteran I fought in the first golf war and give a deserter backpay is a slap in my face and to all other veterans that served.
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    This is an ongoing problematic situation. What this is , is more backlash legislation aimed at anything President Obama did.
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    If I leave my civilian job and come back years later, they don't pay me for the time I've missed.
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    The military courts need to hash this out, not congress.
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    Desertion isn't treason and there are a lot of complicated reasons for it, many of which could be our failings to properly take care of our soldiers' health. It would be better to handle this on a case-by-case basis rather than unilaterally punish them and their families. They still deserve our support for the service and sacrifices they made.
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    If you’ve deserted; you have NOT done your job. Why should you get paid? Bowe Bergdahl and any other member of the Armed Forces who deserts their post shouldn’t receive back pay or special compensation they accrued during their desertion — that’s just common sense.
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    It is just common sense ... all benefits intended for armed forces members, have to be honored for as long as they do their duty. If you stop serving honorably your benefits end right there and then.
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    Traitors don’t deserve pay.
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    Seems pretty clear cut; if you don’t want to be a part of the military and deserted it then you shouldn’t receive payment from it.
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    This should be a military decision. Each situation should be handled on a case by case situation since only the judge in the case knows what really happened!
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