By Kristina Wong - 01/07/14 12:48 PM EST
Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Reid10 most expensive House races McConnell: Senate won't take up TPP this year Politicians can’t afford to ignore Latinos MORE (D-Nev.) on Tuesday hinted that some cuts to military retiree pensions could be reversed in the omnibus bill funding the government.
The Democratic leader blocked an attempt by Republicans to add an amendment to the unemployment insurance bill that would have restored the $6 billion cut to military pensions approved in last month’s budget deal.
"I would bet that that’s addressed in this deal that Mikulski and Rogers come up with, this helping veterans," Reid said.
The pension cut negotiated late last year by Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanClinton, Trump sharpen attacks Donald Trump hasn’t moved an inch on immigration Politicians share pup pics for National Dog Day MORE (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty MurrayPatty Murray'BernieCare' can save ObamaCare Senate Dems make Zika a campaign issue Rubio calls for lawmakers to return to DC, pass Zika funding MORE (D-Wash.) would hold the increase in the payments to 1 percentage point below inflation beginning in December 2015.
Under intense pressure from military advocates, one in three lawmakers have come out in favor of reversing the cuts to working-age military retiree pensions. Sen. Carl LevinCarl LevinSenate continues to disrespect Constitution, Obama and Supreme Court by not voting on Garland As other regulators move past implementing Dodd-Frank, the SEC falls further behind Will partisan politics infect the Supreme Court? MORE (D-Mich.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, added new heft to the push on Tuesday by backing legislation from Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteSanders to campaign for Clinton on Labor Day Republicans slam Biden remarks on closing Gitmo GOP: Ship harassment shows US-Iran relations aren't warming MORE (R-N.H.) that would reverse the benefit reductions.
More than a dozen bills have been introduced to repeal the pension cuts, but there is no bipartisan agreement on how the measure should be paid for.
A spokesman for Murray said the senator is open to reversing the cuts, but only if there's a replacement for the $6 billion saved by reducing military retiree benefits.
Afix to the cuts to exclude medically retired members will come "early on" in the congressional session, the spokesman said, but he was not sure whether it would come as stand-alone legislation or as part of the omnibus spending bill.
The omnibus spending bill is expected to be released as early as Wednesday, and would fund the government for the rest of fiscal 2014.
— Ramsey Cox contributed.