California law makers are taking action after thousands of National Guardsmen and women were asked to repay enlistment bonuses they received almost a decade ago.
This issue is already gaining bipartisan agreement among the California delegation. Both Congressmen Doug LaMalfa and John Garamendi told me they think the Government's request is outrageous.
California Guard soldiers started receiving bonuses back in 2005, during the height of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now, 10,000 soldiers are being asked to return the money they received for their service.
Garamendi says, "We know that between 2006-2008, there was a huge war going on both in Afghanistan and Iraq and the military was short of personnel and they brought these people on."
Whether the money came from enlistment or retention bonuses, some soldiers are being ordered to pay back sums of $15,000 plus interest. Congressman Doug LaMalfa says that kind of money would be hard to payback for families who lost loved ones in the war.
LaMalfa says, "Somebody in the Pentagon maybe wasn't supposed to authorize this. They received the money in good faith, they served in good faith and so the US Government needs to respond in good faith."
But Republicans and Democrats in Congress and the California Legislature are trying to take swift action. Lawmakers say they want to take care of this issue administratively rather than the lengthy process to pass a bill.
LaMalfa says, "Many of us in the California delegation have already signed onto a letter to inquire the Pentagon to how is the policy justified and put a freeze on anymore of these notices going out or any more payments being required."