One of the biggest gripes with the Ryan-Murray budget agreement, which is up for a vote in the Senate later tonight, is the restrictions on military retirement pay. The bill includes adjustments in the cost of living formula for military retirees under the age of 62.
While it’s likely the budget will pass with the retirement pay reductions intact, Georgia Senators Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss have introduced a Sense of the Senate resolution to address the issue.
Many Georgians have served with honor in our military, and while the changes to their annual cost of living increase may appear insignificant on paper, this is real money promised to those who have put their lives in harm’s way in defense of this nation. While I support the budget deal, this resolution formally promises our servicemen and women that we will find alternate savings in our budget, and not disproportionately target their retirement savings. I want to assure our service men and women that there is ample time to address this issue before it takes effect in December of 2015. I will not turn my back on those who fight for this country.
I am pleased to join Sen. Chambliss in this resolution because it is critically important that we not disproportionately burden those who have served in our armed forces. Our men and women in uniform have sacrificed greatly, and we wouldn’t be debating these important issues today on the Senate floor if it weren’t for our military. While we must address the difficult decisions on how to get our arms around our nation’s debt and deficits, we must all share the burden and we must not single our veterans or any segment of society in the process. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues on this issue.
The resolution, which is non-binding, states the Senate should find alternatives to the retirement provisions in the current budget legislation. The resolution also specifies that the Senate will address the reductions before they go into effect in December 2015.