WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today voted in favor of legislation that will repeal the reduction in the cost of living adjustment (COLA) to military retirees' pay. This week, Sen. Landrieu joined Senate colleagues and representatives from Veterans' organizations, including The Retired Enlisted Association, the National Guard Association, Vietnam Veterans of America and the Military Officers Association of America to call for the reinstatement of full benefits for military retirees. The measure passed the Senate by a vote of 95-3. In Louisiana, approximately 9,500 military retirees would benefit from a repeal of the COLA reduction.
"Restoring these benefits for our service men and women was a top priority for me," said Sen. Landrieu. "These cuts never should have happened in the first place, and military benefits are the last place we should look to balance the budget. Members of our military have already paid full price for this benefit, many with their own lives, including 127 warriors from Louisiana. The fact that some members of Congress are willing to delay paying the debt that is rightfully owed to our military by haggling over offsets is mind boggling. This legislation keeps the promise that was made to more than 9,500 military retirees in Louisiana and 750,000 nationwide, and I am glad my colleagues joined me in moving quickly to repeal this reduction."
In 2014, military retirees receive an annual COLA of 1.5 percent. Under the Bipartisan Budget Agreement passed by Congress in 2013, military retirees under the age of 62 would see their COLA reduced by 1 percent beginning in 2015. The budget agreement included an end to the automatic spending cuts, known as the sequester, which would have devastated Louisiana communities and harmed important Louisiana priorities.
The measure now heads to the president's desk for his signature.