|Senate Veterans Affairs Chairman Bernie Sanders|
It’s been a pretty positive week in Washington for our troops and veterans. As you've probably heard, Congressional negotiators have shockingly agreed on a $1.1 trillion spending package that almost everyone says is a pretty good deal. Go figure! And one of the real positives of this whopping budget agreement is that it gives active-duty military a one percent pay raise.
But wait, there's been even more surprising action from this historically do-nothing Congress. New legislation being filed tonight in the Senate would get rid of the one-percent cut in cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for working-age military retirees that was a particularly disagreeable part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt), chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee (SVAC), told his fellow Senators this evening that the Comprehensive Veterans' Health and Benefits and Military Retiree Pay Restoration Act of 2014 will rescind that highly controversial provision and keep these benefits intact for military retirees under age 62.
|Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan wanted to cut military pay|
But veterans organizations and many others strongly disagreed with Ryan's assertion and have been urging Congress to restore these cuts. And it appears Congress got the message.
Sanders, who told his fellow Senators tonight that this legislation "completely eliminates" the military retirement cuts, also said on a positive note that "at a time when there is an enormous amount of divisiveness and partisanship here in the Senate, there has been a great deal of bipartisan effort in the SVAC."