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Government's budget deal 'fix' still allows veteran's pensions to be slashed

World War II veteran Zane Grimm at a Memorial Day Ceremony
World War II veteran Zane Grimm at a Memorial Day Ceremony
Wikipedia/Frank Schulenburg

Millions of veterans will suffer pension cuts despite Washington's recent budget "fix." This includes disabled and injured veterans unless politicians pass amemdments to the deal.

In Dec., Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) made a deal that slashes pensions by $6 billion. A document distributed to House Members claimed disabled and injured veteran's pensions would not be affected.

However, Ryan's staff later learned the statement in the document wasn't true, so it was scrubbed two days before the deal was voted on without notifying House members.

Breitbart News asserted this meant Ryan "knew the cuts would affect wounded warriors when the House voted to pass it." Only after Ryan and Murray came under fire did they admit the mistake.

Ryan argued that veteran's pensions, those who weren't disable or injured, should be cut. There are several House members who disagree with Ryan concerning the cuts.

Those at odds with the cuts are Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Reps. Martha Roby (R-AL), Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Ted Poe (R-TX). There have been various plans introduced to restore veteran's pensions.

Roby and Fitzpatrick introduced a bill that would restore all veteran's pensions, not just to the disabled and injured. They also planned in the bill to close a loophole that allows illegal immigrants access to the Refundable Child Tax Credit.

"Their bill is a House version of an amendment that Sen. Sessions attempted to offer during the budget fight on the Senate floor in December, but was blocked from doing so by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Democrats, according to Breitbart News.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said, "I was pleased that the House-Senate package includes a provision restoring the pensions for disabled veterans, after we called attention to the fact that wounded warriors would be impacted by the budget deal."

Sessions said the deal fails because it doesn't restore pension payments "for millions of active duty and retired military personnel." It will leave 90 percent of the original reductions intact. That would mean the cut could exceed $120,000 in pension payments for an officer who is close to retirement. It would reduce his cost-of-living adjustments by 60 percent.

Sessions says the money could have been spent in a better way. He was talking about the omnibus spending package. This is the second stage of the Ryan-Murray budget deal by Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD).

Sessions believes the tax credit loophole for illegal immigrants should be closed to help save the funds cut to veterans. However, Sen. Majority Leader Reid and his conference blocked Session's fix during the budget debate in Dec.

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