Alexander Votes to Start Debate on Restoring Military Pensions

Says he voted against budget agreement that cut military pensions “because it took money from pensions in a way that treated military retirees worse than civilian federal employees”

Posted on February 10, 2014

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“Today I voted to begin debate because I want the Senate to consider the best way to restore these important benefits.” – Lamar Alexander 

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today voted to start debate on legislation to restore pension benefits to military personnel that were cut as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act that Congress passed in 2013. Alexander voted against the budget agreement. (For audio of the senator's remarks, click here: 2-10-14 Military benefits.wav )

“I voted against the budget agreement in December in part because it took money from pensions in a way that treated military retirees worse than civilian federal employees,” Alexander said. “Today I voted to begin debate because I want the Senate to consider the best way to restore these important benefits.”

One of the provisions in the budget agreement passed by Congress last December cuts cost-of-living adjustments for military pensions starting in December of 2015, affecting the benefits of current retired military personnel, not just future retirees. When he voted against the budget agreement on Dec. 18 of last year, Alexander cited military pensions, as well as his concern that the agreement “avoids the federal government’s most urgent need: reducing the growth of entitlement spending.”

Alexander said in December, “It would have been better to pay for this agreement with a small part of the $1 trillion in entitlement savings that Senator Corker and I have identified in our ‘Fiscal Sustainability Act,’ or with entitlement savings suggested in the president’s budget.”   

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