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Shaheen, Ayotte support reversal of COLA reduction for military retirees

Sens.  Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire supported a bipartisan Senate bill that reversed a cost of living adjustment (COLA) reduction for military retirees that was included in last year’s bipartisan budget agreement.

 Shaheen and Ayotte’s offices in statements said each of them led the fight for the bill. Shaheen’s office said she was the first to introduce legislation repealing the cut back in December.
 The bill cleared the Senate Wednesday afternoon by a 95-3 vote.

“It is important that we honor our commitment to the men and women who have volunteered and sacrificed to protect our country,” Shaheen said. “Today’s vote was the right thing to do. This bill rightfully restores cost of living adjustments for military retirees who have fought for our country and does so without adding to the deficit. I’m encouraged by the cooperation behind this agreement and am hopeful we can continue to work in the same bipartisan fashion moving forward.”

Ayotte’s office said she was the only member of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation to vote against the budget deal in December “that unfairly singled out military retirees – including disabled veterans who retire because of their injuries – for $6 billion in benefit cuts.”

“Military retirees shouldn’t have been singled out for cuts in the first place, and this bill takes an important step to right a wrong,” said Senator Ayotte. “I remain concerned that service members who recently joined are facing future benefit cuts even as Congress awaits the findings of a panel it commissioned to make recommendations on military compensation. Our brave military members put their lives on the line for our country, and I will continue my efforts to ensure they’re not singled out for unfair benefit cuts.”

The House passed the bill Tuesday by a vote of 326-90 and the legislation will next be sent to the President for his signature.

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