Chambliss and Isakson Try to Protect Military Retirement Pay

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.

Senator Chambliss:

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.

Senator Isakson:

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.


  1. Noway says:

    I didn’t realize our military pensions were sacrosanct. Let’s see, their pensions are more valuable to their recipients that other federal retirees? Can we agree that entitlement spending is out of control? If so, how ’bout a five percent haircut on all of them? Just as a beginning….I don’t care if you’re a retired four star Chairman of the Joint Chiefs or a retired mechanic from the GSA motor pool.

      • Noway says:

        Bingo, John and THAT is why nothing, and I do mean nothing will ever be done. We’ll just keep on with trillion dollar deficits every year until our country dies. I hear every sage with a microphone say, “This is unsustainable.” True enough but those words will never be acted upon. We can’t even do a tiny beginning called The Sequester without howls. Stick in the proverbial fork. We’re done.

  2. seenbetrdayz says:

    Politicians are too busy trying to spend money involving us in more wars to worry about those who have already served their time fighting. The money is there. It would just mean taking some of that money from drone strikes that miss their targets and kill women and children and putting it towards making sure veterans get what they were promised.

    The cost of one predator drone hellfire missile could cover the cost of 2 prosthetic limbs for a veteran. But we’d rather bomb a mosque on faulty intel than pay for healthcare or retirement for the troops.

  3. atl_man says:

    This is what exposes most of the “small government conservative” stuff as frauds. They only want cuts and reductions and eliminations in government programs and spending that doesn’t affect the things that they support and their constituencies. It isn’t just pay and benefits for veterans. It is keeping Pentagon spending at current or increasing levels because military contractors create millions of high-paying jobs in conservative areas like Cobb and Gwinnett that wouldn’t exist otherwise. If that isn’t a jobs program – since most of those weapons are never actually used in combat – then what is? It was keeping NASA going for similar reasons long after everything that NASA does was being done better by the private sector: all the jobs that NASA provides in Texas, Alabama and Florida. It is increasing the pork-laden farm bill (which helps the red states) while cutting food stamps. It is keeping the ethanol program (again, helps the red states) while opposing all other forms of alternative energy.

    Yes, this is ideological. Conservatives believe that we need to support our men and women in the military, as well as the police officers. I get it. I also get the argument that “provide for the common defense” makes spending on military and the police constitutional – or at least more constitutional – than social welfare spending. But liberals get the same lump in their throat about teachers, social workers etc. that conservatives do about our servicemen, and they claim that teachers and social workers are the ones responsible for helping mold young children into future soldiers. (See “The Antwone Fisher Story” about how a social worker type helped a young naval officer from the inner city save his career and avoid a self-destructive path in life by giving him anger counseling to deal with the abuse that he experienced as a foster child. Stuff like THAT is what liberals care about.)

    Liberals are going to have the position that we aren’t going to balance the budget by cutting our programs without cutting yours. Until conservatives are willing to sacrifice their own programs, their own priorities, their own base of voters and contributors, nothing is going to get done. That was the why sequestration was actually kind of decent … it sacrificed both liberal and conservative priorities.

    • John Konop says:

      ………….Liberals are going to have the position that we aren’t going to balance the budget by cutting our programs without cutting yours. Until conservatives are willing to sacrifice their own programs, their own priorities, their own base of voters and contributors, nothing is going to get done………

      Very well said all should read!

  4. LaurenC says:

    I agree with everyone’s comments, but you are neglecting to recognize that both Johnny and Saxby have said that all areas of our budget, including the military, should have to make cuts. But if military pensions are being reduced, then all federal employees pensions should be reduced. This budget unfairly targets just our servicemen and women’s pensions.

    Saxby says as much in another floor speech:

  5. gcp says:

    More silliness from Isakson and trick-knee Chambliss. Note that while they speak of “alternate savings,” neither offers specifics but maybe Chambliss will reconstitute his famous ” gang of six.” It was just so successful the last time.

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