Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., announced Tuesday that she will be introducing legislation to roll back provisions in the pending budget deal that would cut military retirement benefits by reducing cost-of-living adjustments.
Shaheen, who is up for re-election in 2014, said that the plan would be paid for by closing “select corporate tax loopholes,” even though Republicans resisted doing so in the budget agreement that has yet to pass the Senate.
“This bipartisan budget agreement will create economic certainty for small businesses, help promote job creation, and protect our country from another government shutdown but like I’ve said before, it’s not perfect,” Shaheen said in a statement. “The plan I am going to introduce will undo changes to future cost of living adjustments for military retirees and will instead achieve savings by closing corporate tax loopholes. It’s a smart, pragmatic fix and I hope it will generate bipartisan support.”
Earlier Tuesday, a group of Republican senators denounced the cuts in military pension pay and expressed specific dismay at the cuts that might affect disabled veterans. Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., released a statement saying they believed it was wrong to roll back part of the sequester using cuts to military retirees. Though neither Shaheen nor the group of GOP senators mentioned it, the budget deal also includes cuts to the pensions of future federal civilian employees.
“We want Congress to pass a budget, address defense sequestration, and restore military readiness, but it is wrong to try to achieve these goals on the backs of our military retirees — who have risked their lives to defend our country and who have already sacrificed so much,” the three GOP senators said. “We were also appalled to learn that this legislation would even reduce the retirements of those who have been injured in the line of duty and have been medically retired as a result. That is unconscionable, and we call on members of both parties to work with us now to replace these misguided cuts.”