January 28, 2014

In Armed Services Hearing, Kaine Presses For Fix To Military Pension Reductions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, participated in a hearing on the military pension cuts included in the Bipartisan Budget Act, a provision which Kaine does not support. Kaine applauded the stability afforded to the military because of the budget deal passed in December, but called for an immediate repeal of the provision that impacts military pensions. Kaine recently joined Senator Mark Warner to introduce a measure that would help protect military retirees by replacing the reductions in cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) with new legislation that could raise as much as $6.6 billion over ten years by preventing companies from avoiding paying U.S. taxes.

“This provision needs to be changed,” Kaine said. “The best part about the [budget] deal is that there was a deal. And a standard feature of the budget compromise is that there are some pieces that I don’t like and I hope to fix. … But the fact that there are pieces of the deal we don’t like shouldn’t obscure the issue that when we together passed a budget deal and an omnibus, we did something really good for veterans, we did something good for the military.”

Citing Virginia's strong connections to the military, Kaine emphasized the positive impact of reaching a deal, and called on members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to come together and repeal the COLA provision.

"I live in a state that I’m sure has the most direct military connection, in terms of the number of veterans per capita, active duty, military, guard reserve, DOD civilian, DOD contractor, military installations, we’re the most militarily connected state I believe of any in the country," said Kaine. "And overwhelmingly, even though there are aspects of this deal that we don’t like and want to fix, the fact of the deal is something that I think, House, Senate, Democrats, Republicans, inside, outside, Capitol Hill, should be glad that we’ve finally shown we can get it – not that we can’t make improvements, and this is one that I share with everyone around the table, and we ought to fix this, and I’m very confident we will."

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