October 23, 2016

Acting Ranking Member Mark Takano Statement on Effort to Claw Back Bonuses Paid to Members of the California National Guard

Washington, D.C. – Acting Ranking Member Mark Takano released the following statement regarding the Los Angeles Times story describing efforts to claw back bonuses and benefits improperly paid to members of the California National Guard 10 years ago.  

“I am appalled by the California National Guard’s effort to claw back bonuses and benefits improperly paid to service members 10 years ago. Those who served in the California National Guard bear no responsibility for the mistakes and misconduct that led to these payments. It is unfair and unacceptable to hold them accountable a decade later.

“These service members – many of whom were sent into combat – are now being forced to make difficult and painful decisions to pay back thousands of dollars that they never knew they owed. The California National Guard is breaking the promises it made to those who served, and it is falling well short of the profound gratitude and respect we owe to these brave men and women.

“The solution to this ridiculous situation is an act of Congress, and I am calling on Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to make this issue a top priority during the lame duck session next month. I am also calling on the California National Guard and the Department of Defense to immediately suspend all efforts to retrieve improper payments while a legislative fix is passed.

“This country owes a debt to our service members that we can never fully repay. It should never be the other way around.”  

Press Contact

Josh Weisz, josh.weisz@mail.house.gov, 202-225-2305