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Democrats Call 2007 Pay Boost “Paltry”: Ten Democratic Senators led by Presidential-hopeful Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts penned a letter to leaders of the Senate Budget Committee to protest the 2.2 percent military pay raise included in President Bush’s 2007 defense budget proposal. They say it is the smallest since 1994. They wrote: “Such a paltry increase neglects the value of their service and the very real challenges of recruiting and retaining an all-volunteer military in time of war.”