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Reid: Cut to military pensions could be addressed in omnibus

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid: Biden should give GOP three weeks to see if they will work with him Democrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Durbin says he will run for No. 2 spot if Dems win Senate majority 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.

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Reid said that he was opposed to adding the amendment to the unemployment measure because the cuts are likely to be addressed in the omnibus spending bill that is being negotiated by Sen. Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiForeign policy congressional committees need to call more women experts Lobbying World Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates MORE (D-Md.) and Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.).

"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 Davis RyanMcCarthy faces pushback from anxious Republicans over interview comments Pelosi and Trump go a full year without speaking Jordan vows to back McCarthy as leader even if House loses more GOP seats MORE (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayPlaintiff and defendant from Obergefell v. Hodges unite to oppose Barrett's confirmation Overnight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas Government watchdog to investigate allegations of Trump interference at CDC, FDA 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 Milton LevinMichigan to pay 0M to victims of Flint water crisis Unintended consequences of killing the filibuster Inspector general independence must be a bipartisan priority in 2020 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 Ann AyotteThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Senate makes SCOTUS nominee Barrett a proxy for divisive 2020 Senate Republicans scramble to put Trump at arm's length GOP anxiety grows over Trump political roller coaster 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.