Jeff Miller Looks to Stop COLA Cuts for Vets in Murray-Ryan Budget

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: December 19, 2013 12:36 PM
Jeff Miller

U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla.

Florida Congressman Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, introduced two measures Thursday to halt cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) cuts for military retirees in the budget crafted by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

Miller’s proposals would stop the COLA cuts for all military retirees, adjusting the current budget agreement. On Wednesday, Miller explained why he supported the Murray-Ryan budget and why he felt the need to adjust it.

“I supported the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 because it represented the best opportunity for our divided government to keep its doors open for the next two years while reducing the deficit and bolstering military readiness,” the Florida Republican said. “That being said, the bill contained COLA reductions for certain military retirees that I would not have supported outside of the context of the budget compromise.

“By introducing these measures, which will eliminate the act’s COLA reductions for all military retirees, as well as those who are medically retired, receiving Combat Related Special Compensation and/or Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments, I hope to give Congress time to reach an agreement that balances our need to cut federal spending with the promises America has made to our veterans,” Miller added.

Miller quickly won the support of U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., who also backed the Murray-Ryan agreement. Crenshaw is co-sponsoring the proposals.

“I did not want to have to make the choice between working-age military retiree COLAs and stopping the cost-devastating cuts of sequestration, but that is the choice the House was given on Dec. 12,” Crenshaw insisted. “The final agreement did not please everyone, but its framework delivered long-overdue certainty to the appropriations process and helped to ensure military readiness.

“Moving forward, the COLA and disability pension reforms that I am co-sponsoring strengthen the budget agreement and honor those who have served,” Crenshaw added. “Both deserve the support of Congress, and I will be encouraging all my colleagues to support them.”

Miller’s bills are gaining momentum, garnering co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle in both the Senate and the House. Other co-sponsors include U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, the ranking Democrat on the House Veterans Affairs Committee. The Senate versions were introduced by U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

Comments (2)

9:08AM DEC 21ST 2013
More false flag wavin by Miller, didn't do a thing for Veterans as he and friends rubber stamped two wars costs, off the books and with no bid contracts, while still seeking to privatize the VA for corporate profits, like our wars!!!!!!!!!!
USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71
9:08AM DEC 21ST 2013
The Cost of War, All Costs, the Responsibility of Those Served

The Abandoning of the missions and the purposes of, along with the once
again promises to the Afghan people, first time was after the
Afghan/Soviet long war, quickly after 9/11, with the Lives still being lost, those serving still being wounded!!!

"12 years also is a long time. We now have a lifetime responsibility
to a generation of service members, veterans and their families." Dr. Jonathan Woodson 11 Sep. 2013: 'With 9/11 Came Lifetime Responsibility'

There's only one branch of Government, Federal and States, consistently
doing for not only us Veterans' but also the Military personal and their
Families and without the control of the Countries purse strings, the people served and their representatives do, and combining
the Cabinet agencies abilities to help where possible with their
budgets. That's the whole Executive branch under President Obama. Doing
what Congress and the people represented by them and served by the
Military refuse to do, Sacrifice, especially the wealthy!

Decades, and wars of, of under funding the VA. With these two recent
wars little was done for the Veterans of as well as the Military
personal, i.e. Walter Reed as one example, and their Families, in the
first years of both under the previous executive branch and those
congresses. Rubber stamped war costs, off the books and on the countries
credit card with no bid private contracts, including building an
expensive private merc army! That's not adding in all the other rubber
stamped costs of the bush administration policy wants, especially in the
first six years of!

Rachel Maddow: "We got a huge round of tax cuts in
this country a few weeks before 9/11. Once 9/11 happened and we invaded
Afghanistan, we kept the tax cuts anyway.
How did we think we were going to pay for that war? Did we think it was

Then, when we started a second simultaneous war in another country, we
gave ourselves a second huge round of tax cuts. After that second war
started. The wars, I guess, we thought would be free, don`t worry about
it, civilians. Go about your business." 23 May 2013

"If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth
our treasure, too" "not just in the abstract, but in the form of a
specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

David (CBS News) Martin: "Then there's the financial cost. To date,
the Pentagon has spent more than $500 billion on the war in Afghanistan.
A defense spending bill the Senate is expected to pass this week would
add another $80 billion to that." 17 December 2013

That's not counting those decades to come results from costs and the once again ignored, by those served, issues!

The wars, neither Afghanistan nor Iraq, have yet been paid for. Nor
especially the now decades to come, DeJa-Vu all over again, the of
results for those sent, over and over, and the continuing under funding
the Peoples Responsibility, the Veterans Administration charged with
much more then just caring for the wounded, as those served ignore most
of those results from!!

'Cost of War' site {real and estimated costs}: "Total
US federal spending associated with the Iraq war has been $1.7 trillion
through FY2013. In addition, future health and disability payments for
veterans will total $590 billion and interest accrued to pay for the war
will add up to $3.9 trillion." 19 March 2013 © 2011 Watson Institute, Brown University

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