Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) made the following statement after cosponsoring key bills calling for elimination of cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) reductions for military retirees:
"The military retiree COLA reduction of one percent was negotiated as part of the Ryan-Murray budget agreement to accompany the requirement that federal civilian employees increase their pension contributions to 4.4 percent. This agreement is essential to avoiding more government shutdowns, the last of which exacted numerous hardships on our veterans and servicemembers throughout the country, especially at Camp Robinson and Little Rock Air Force Base. Fortunately, no changes will occur to COLAs for military retirees for the next two years, providing Congress with ample time and opportunity to ensure the concerns of our veterans will be addressed long before scheduled implementation in two years. If I had been given the chance to remove this provision from the Ryan-Murray budget agreement, I would have; however, unfortunately, no amendments were permitted, and it was a strict up or down vote on the bill.
"Today, I joined my colleagues in taking the first step to avoid these harmful cuts to our military retirees by becoming an original cosponsor of key bills offered by House Veterans' Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) to restore full COLA benefits for veterans and their families. Spending cuts that burden our veterans and servicemembers are not the way to get our federal spending under control, and we must address the true drivers of our debt and deficit, including reforms to Social Security and Medicare for those not currently enrolled in these programs. I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that Congress addresses excessive government spending without placing an undue burden on our veterans, servicemembers, and their families."