Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThis obscure Senate rule could let VP Mike Pence fully repeal ObamaCare once and for all Sharron Angle to challenge GOP rep in Nevada Fox's Watters asks Trump whom he would fire: Baldwin, Schumer or Zucker 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 RyanReport: Trump regrets backing health plan before pushing for tax reform Trump delivers ultimatum to GOP on ObamaCare repeal Dem senator to reintroduce ‘buy American’ legislation MORE (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty MurrayPatty MurrayDems mock House GOP over lack of women in healthcare meeting Elle honors 10 at annual 'Women in Washington' event Five takeaways from Labor pick’s confirmation hearing 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 LevinTed Cruz wants to destroy the Senate as we know it A package proposal for repatriation Silencing of Warren another example of hyperpartisan Senate 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 AyotteFEC commissioner to Trump: Prove voter fraud Live coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing Lewandowski saw no evidence of voter fraud in New Hampshire 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.