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Murray Vows to Fix Budget Bill Provision That Cuts Veterans' Benefits

Image: Murray Vows to Fix Budget Bill Provision That Cuts Veterans' Benefits

By Cathy Burke   |   Wednesday, 18 Dec 2013 05:55 PM

One of the authors of the bipartisan budget deal on Wednesday promised to fix a provision in the bill that gouges military retirees' benefits, two reports said.

"A provision in this deal which mistakenly impacted retirement benefits for disabled veterans . . . will be fixed in short order," vowed Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, The Hill reported.

"This technical error can, will, and should be addressed, Murray said.

Editor’s Note: New Video Exposes a ‘Great Retirement Heist’

Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., negotiated the deal last week, and it has passed both houses of Congress.

But the bill's provision to slice $6 billion in military retiree benefits — a 1 percent cost-of-living cut — so some sequester cuts to the Pentagon could be replaced has triggered fierce criticism.

"We are not against the budget control act, but we are against doing it on the backs of our military and our families," Military Officers Association of America President Vice Adm. Norb Ryan said, Military Times reported.

Murray noted, "Thankfully, this will not go into effect for two years."

Murray said the Senate would later pass a technical correction ensuring that veterans with disabilities wouldn't see a cut in their benefits.

Republican Georgia Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson introduced a resolution to formally voice their opinion — known as a sense of the Senate — to ease concerns of military members and their families, The Hill reported.

"The solution should require contributions from all Americans," Chambliss said on the Senate floor. "Military retirees should not unfairly bear the burden of excessive government spending."

The Military Times reported that Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia have introduced the Military Retirement Restoration Act, which would save more than $6 billion by tightening regulations on U.S. companies that shelter funds in foreign tax havens.

Other senators, including Carl Levin, D-Mich., and John McCain, R-Ariz., have said the Senate Armed Services Committee also will review the benefits cut, the newspaper noted.

But New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer on Monday insisted the cuts are "small."

"Civilian federal employees have been cut, cut, cut. I think there was a feeling, if you're going to cut them further, which was done, that the military retirees should have about an equal amount. It's small," he said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Editor’s Note: New Video Exposes a ‘Great Retirement Heist’

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