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Senate votes to cut military pensions, leaves IRS credit for illegal immigrants

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On Tuesday, Senate Democrats blocked a GOP effort to stop cuts to military retirees, Fox News said. An effort by Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Al., would have instead cut some $4.2 billion in annual spending by reining in an IRS credit that illegal immigrants have claimed, Fox added.

Sessions tried to use a parliamentary tactic to force a vote on his amendment, but it failed.

"By blocking my amendment, they voted to cut pensions for wounded warriors," Sessions said. "Senators in this chamber have many valid ideas for replacing these pension cuts, including my proposal to close the tax welfare loophole for illegal filers, and all deserved a fair and open hearing. But they were denied.”

Sessions' office called it a vote to "cut military pensions instead of cutting welfare for illegal immigrants."

Murray claimed the vote was really an effort to kill the entire bill.

The budget deal cuts the cost of living increases for non-disabled military retirees under age 62. The move angered a coalition of military groups who say that Congress has betrayed them.

The problem, as CNN Money's Jennifer Liberto explained, is that many who retire from the military do so long before age 62.

"They enlist in their 20's and retire in their 40's. Very few stay on till they are 62 -- those who may be lucky enough to escape major injuries at war, or rose to higher echelons in the military system," she wrote.

Over 20 years, that one percent cut compounds to a 20 percent cut in retirement pay.

An Army Sergeant First Class or a Marine Gunnery Sergeant, for example, would lose an estimated $3,700 per year. Over 20 years, the total loss could balloon to more than $80,000.

Over 10 years, the House budget would cut military retirement pay by $6 billion.

Democrats, however, apparently decided that tax credits for illegal immigrants was apparently more important than military retirees.

“It’s not correct, and it should not happen,” Sessions said.

The budget deal, Fox said, is expected to get a final vote no later than Wednesday.

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