“Cut military pensions instead of cutting welfare for illegal immigrants…”
Reporter Elizabeth Harrington of The Washington Free Beacon is dropping a bombshell report on Dec. 17, 2013, citing obtained government documentation illustrating that the architects of the Ryan-Murray Budget deal will not only specifically target only retirees from the Uniformed Services (vice including civilian federal workers) with 20+ years service, but those from the military who were medically retired for wounds received would also face huge cuts to their financially important annual COLA (Cost Of Living Allowance) increases.
The Washington Free Beacon isn’t the only news organ reporting that disabled vets also face cost of living cuts.
Fox News of Washington, DC published on Dec. 17, 2013 that the budget deal has not only gotten across the board angry responses from vets overall, but especially when they found out that those who were medically retired would face decreases to their COLA.
As reported, veterans groups are incensed: “particularly after officials confirmed that the curtailment would apply to the retirement benefits of veterans who leave the service on disability.”
An original copy of a summary of the Ryan-Murray deal, obtained by the Free Beacon, explicitly stated that disabled veterans would be exempt from any cuts in benefits.
The original wording was as follows:
‘This provision modifies the annual cost-of-living adjustment for working-age military retirees by making the adjustments equal to inflation minus 1 percent,’ reads the summary, which was sent on Dec. 10. ‘This change would be gradually phased in, with no change for the current year, a 0.25 percent decrease in December 2014, and a 0.5 percent decrease in December 2015.
‘This would not affect servicemembers who retired because of disability or injury.’
Amazingly, the very quietly updated summary now posted on the House Budget Committee website has the sentence relating to disabled retirees magically gone.
The Ryan-Murray deal affects Chapter 71, Section 1401 of the United States Code, which deals with the pay of military retirees.
As the code is currently written, servicemembers can be eligible for early Chapter 61 retirement if it is determined that, due to a physical disability, that individual is no longer able to perform the duties of their office, grade, or rank. The individual must hold a disability rating of 30 percent or more according to Department of Defense standards, and the disability must be the proximate result of performing their duties during a time of war or national emergency.
As an example, if a medically retired Sergeant of Marines (Pay Grade E-5) with 10 years worth of service were to see his COLA changed by the current scheme, he would lose roughly $50,000 of earned compensation over a period of 40 years.
As reported by Fox News on Dec. 18, 2013, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is one of the most vocal opponents of the current proposed budget deal.
The ‘Bama Senator opened fire from the Senate floor:
They voted to cut pensions for Wounded Warriors.
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 claimed the vote Tuesday to financially hammer veterans was a vote to “cut military pensions instead of cutting welfare for illegal immigrants.”