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Senate vote protects measure to restore COLA benefits from filibuster

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On Tuesday by a 94-0 vote, the U.S. Senate moved forward in passing legislation that would restore cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) benefits that were stripped from military retirees by a bill that Congress passed in December.The vote taken on S. 1963 makes the measure eligible for a floor vote in the Senate and protects it against filibusters.

According to American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger, the U.S. Senate took advantage of an excellent opportunity to show its support for America's military retirees. Lawmakers showed strong solidarity in moving forward on the bill, which would repeal military pension cuts set to be imposed over the next decade after a congressional budget compromise was struck just before the Christmas holidays.

If enacted, S. 1963, would repeal Section 403 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. This section reduces COLA benefits for military retirees under age 62, at a rate of 1 percent annually over a decade.

Dellinger said he understood why the Senate overwhelmingly approved Pryor's bill. "It's a very succinct piece of legislation that can eliminate these unfair and ill-conceived COLA cuts. While The American Legion is greatly pleased by the Senate's actions, we are going to hold Congress to its word on this matter," Dellinger said. "Anything less than a full repeal is a breach of faith with our military servicemembers, retirees and their families."

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