Wilson Cosponsors Bill Protect Military Benefits
Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) issued the following statement after signing on as an original cosponsor to the H.R. 3788, legislation that removes the adjustments to military retirement benefits included in the bipartisan budget agreement. Funding for this measure would be found by closing a loophole found in the Child Tax Credit.
“By supporting last week’s bipartisan budget agreement, I chose the lesser of two evils,” Congressman Joe Wilson said. “Without the passage of this bill, our military would be subject to additional sequester cuts. Hollowing out our military and failing to adequately provide for our brave men and women serving to keep us safe is not in the best interest of American families.
“We must honor our commitments previously made to those who risked their lives to defend our freedoms. I am very pleased that my colleagues and I have joined Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08) in attempting to reform our tax code to ensure accountability. Fraud and abuse run rampant within our federal government and it must be stopped. Our veterans should not be forced to suffer due to Washington's fiscal irresponsibility.”
*Congressman Wilson also signed on as an original cosponsor to two additional bills addressing this very same issue.*On December 12, 2013, the House of Representatives voted to approve H.J. Res. 59, the “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013”, by a vote of 332 to 94. This resolution, negotiated by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (WI-01) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (WA), establishes a Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) budget and the Senate subsequently voted to approve the measure on December 18, 2013 by a vote of 64 to 36. Included in Section 403 of this resolution is a provision, which makes a change to the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for military retired pay and retainer pay for retired members of the Armed Forces under the age of 62. Each fiscal year, the COLA is based upon the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the previous fiscal year. Under this recently passed agreement, members and all former members of the military under 62 years of age will receive an annual COLA equal to inflation (CPI) minus one percent. Once an individual reaches the age of 62, their retired pay will return to the full adjustment equal to the CPI and will continue to receive a full COLA from then on. This provision does not alter the COLA for disability compensation or health care benefits for disabled veterans and does not affect military retirement base pay, which is determined by rank and years of service.