Tags: veterans. retirement | benefits | appropriations

Most Military Pensions Would Still be Cut Under Omnibus Bill

Wednesday, 15 Jan 2014 07:14 AM

By Elliot Jager

Veterans and their friends on Capitol Hill say that the $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill leaves in place most of the $6 billion in military pension cuts.

While disabled veterans, and the spouses of deceased veterans, will have their cuts restored and be exempted, 82 percent of military retirees would lose thousands in pension payments, the Washington Free Beacon reports.

The cuts would impact cost-of-living adjustments for retirees under the age of 62 starting in December 2015.

Some veterans, such as Eric Phillip, have taken to Twitter to voice their anger over the cuts. Phillip tweeted against a Washington Post editorial that characterized the cuts as a budget tweak: "Neither are cuts to military pensions 'minuscule' or 'teensy-weensy,'" he wrote.

Republican lawmakers want to see the $6 billion returned to the military pension budget and offset by an equal amount in savings that could be achieved by closing a tax code loophole that permits illegal aliens to claim child tax credits.

"I'm glad the omnibus bill restores benefits for disabled veterans and spouses of those who have died in harm's way," Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe told the Washington Free Beacon. "But we should be restoring our full promise to our service members, and I will be working to ensure this happens."

The number of military retirees and survivor benefit recipients is estimated at 2.3 million, and their annual remuneration runs approximately $52 billion.

Both the House and Senate are expected to take up the omnibus bill on Wednesday.

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