Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidStaff shakeup begins at Dem campaign committee The Hill's 12:30 Report Emanuel flips the bird when asked about 2020 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 RyanSenators move to protect 'Dreamers' Cruz, DeSantis to introduce constitutional amendment on term limits House GOP made call on miners benefits MORE (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty MurrayPatty MurrayReid defends relationship with McConnell in farewell speech Top Dem signals likely opposition to Sessions nomination Overnight Finance: Trump takes victory lap at Carrier plant | House passes 'too big to fail' revamp | Trump econ team takes shape 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 Levin'Nuclear option' for Supreme Court nominees will damage Senate McCain's Supreme Court strategy leads to nuclear Senate The Fed and a return to banking simplicity 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 AyotteDem senator tears up in farewell speech Juan Williams: McConnell won big by blocking Obama Battle brews over Trump’s foreign policy 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.