January 08, 2014

The Military Retirement Restoration Act

I'm glad to return to Washington to work for New Mexicans. We're starting the year with a bipartisan budget and the hope that we can come together to meet the challenges before us.

The budget deal is important to New Mexico because it replaces the across-the-board sequestration cuts -- which would have been disastrous to our military bases, labs, and other federal installations -- with smarter alternatives that will help our small businesses expand, create jobs, and support our military.

However, the budget is far from perfect. And I'm very disappointed that a reduction in the cost of living adjustment for the retirement benefits of working-age military retirees was part of the measure. I've been working to reverse that cut since the budget deal was announced. I've also heard from New Mexico veterans and their families about the importance of these benefits, and I will continue to work to restore them.

Before the end of the year, I joined my colleagues in filing S. 1844, the Military Retirement Restoration Act, to reverse the 1 percent COLA reduction for these retirees who have dedicated over two decades of their lives to protecting our freedoms. Today we filed an amendment to a bill on the Senate floor to pass the fix, and I will continue pushing hard for it to be included.

Our legislation is a common-sense solution that will decrease the deficit by closing a tax loophole for offshore companies that claim foreign status, which helps them avoid paying U.S. taxes.

Not only would it close this loophole, our bill would reverse the reduction so working-age military retirees get the retirement benefits they have earned.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and former member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, I have worked to support veterans throughout my career. And you can bet I'm going to continue fighting to keep our promises to our military retirees.

It's also critical to find sensible, bipartisan solutions that keep our budgets in check while maintaining our government services. Finding a solution to the budget impasse required many tough choices, but keeping our military strong and economy healthy should not fall on the backs of military retirees when multi-billion dollar companies are taking advantage of offshore tax havens and other costly loopholes that are not available to middle class families.

Click below for a copy of the bill I'm fighting for, and spread the word with others to help us get it passed.





The Military Retirement Restoration Act - S. 1844 by Tom Udall