On Saturday, October 22, a Los Angeles Times investigation revealed nearly 10,000 soldiers involved in the enlistment bonus scandal, some of whom face significant financial hardships due to the California Guard's actions.
The California National Guard enticed soldiers with bonuses, amounting to $15,000 or more, to reenlist and go to war. But now, the Pentagon is demanding the money back.
Almost 10,000 soldiers are being ordered to repay large enlistment bonuses, including interest charges, wage garnishments and tax liens if they refuse.
Congressman Kevin McCarthy shared a statement on Twitter Monday, October 24 about his thoughts on the situation.
My statement condemning a Pentagon effort to make California veterans pay back enlistment bonuses: pic.twitter.com/uVk7NGVzDM
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) October 24, 2016
The Republican Majority Leader found it "disgraceful" and shared that "our military heroes should not shoulder the burden of military recruiters' faults from over a decade ago".
Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi shared the same sentiment.
"These brave Californians were willing to give everything to serve our country," Pelosi said. "They earned every penny and benefit given to them."
Senator Jean Fuller also released a statement on the Pentagon's efforts:
"We owe our brave soldiers more than a bonus payment. We owe them gratitude, and this effort to take back military bonuses is wrong and I condemn it.
"The burden should fall on the military that paid these bonuses, not the military members who put their lives on the line when our country needed them most. It's my hope that the federal government quickly fixes this, and I commend Congressman McCarthy and other Members of Congress for their call to help these heroes."