December 18, 2013

Udall Backs Plan to Undo Military Retiree COLA Changes in Budget Agreement

Military Retirement Restoration Act preserves benefits, closes corporate tax loophole

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that he has cosponsored the Military Retirement Restoration Act to safeguard military retirees from a proposed 1 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) cut for working-age military retirees. This change was included in the bipartisan budget agreement the Senate is expected to clear this week. The legislation would replace the $6 billion in total expected cuts to working-age military retirees' COLAs with an estimated $6.6 billion raised by eliminating a tax loophole for domestic corporations that make use of offshore tax havens. The legislation was introduced by U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and is also cosponsored by Senators Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Mark Warner (D-VA), Al Franken (D-MN), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Mark Begich (D-AK), Mark Udall (D-CO), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

"The bipartisan budget deal replaces damaging across-the-board cuts with smarter alternatives that will support growth among small businesses, create jobs in New Mexico and across the country, support our active duty military, and avoid the devastating financial impacts of another government shutdown," Udall said. "However, a promise was made to our military retirees, and the reduction in retirement benefits for working-age military retirees undermines this promise. That is why I'm supporting the Military Retirement Restoration Act, which will reverse the 1 percent reduction in cost of living adjustments to retirees who have dedicated over two decades of their lives to protecting our freedoms. This common-sense bill will decrease the deficit by closing a tax loophole while ensuring that working-age military retirees get the retirement benefits they have earned."

Currently, companies that are incorporated offshore but managed and controlled from the United States can claim foreign status, which helps them avoid paying U.S. taxes.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and former member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, Udall has worked to support veterans throughout his career. Udall is a cosponsor of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, and has fought to protect veterans' benefits and ensure that military service members return home to the resources needed to smoothly and successfully transition into civilian life. For more information about Udall's work for veterans, click here.