By Ramsey Cox
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he would allow a vote on a GOP amendment to a bill that would repeal a $6 billion cut to military pensions.
Later Tuesday, the Senate is expected to adopt a motion to proceed to S. 1963, a bill introduced by Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.). The bill would repeal the $6 billion pension cut from the December 2013 budget deal that has come under harsh criticism. But it currently isn’t paid for.
On Monday, the Senate voted 94-0 to end debate on a motion to proceed to the bill, but Republicans made it clear that they would no longer support the measure unless they were allowed to offer amendments.
“The Ayotte amendment is the one Republicans have indicated they want to vote on and I don’t see any reason why we can’t have a vote on that,” Reid said. Reid has criticized Ayotte’s amendment, saying it will harm children in the United States by preventing their parents from getting a tax credit.
In the budget deal, working-age veterans' cost-of-living retirement benefits would be reduced by one percentage-point below inflation starting in December 2015. The omnibus spending bill corrected the fact that disabled veterans' benefits were also cut, but some lawmakers have argued no current service member or veteran should see a reduction in cost-of-living increases.
Reid said just because the COLA reduction doesn’t take effect for more than a year, “is no reason to delay a solution.”