This article first appeared in the Sept. 3, 1987, issue of the Baltimore Guide.
Members of the armed forces in the Persian Gulf will be paid an additional $110 monthly as “danger pay,” according to the Reagan administration. Formal notification of Congress was deemed unnecessary under the War Powers Act, so the payments will begin without congressional approval.
The Pentagon said that there are about 10,000 people eligible for the danger pay, bringing this monthly bill to about $1.1 million, which the individual services are to pay from their existing budgets.
The War Powers Resolution limits a president’s ability to act without congressional authority to send U.S. forces into situations “where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated.”
The Defense Department justified the danger pay by saying a different standard applies to the pay that has been approved. that standard requires the “threat of physical harm or imminent danger.”
The Pentagon said that while “there exists the potential for physical harm to members of U.S. forces, we are still of the opinion that imminent involvement in hostilities is not clearly indicated by the circumstances” in the Persian Gulf.