Jeff Miller Looks to Stop COLA Cuts for Vets in Murray-Ryan Budget
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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.
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org.