U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said he would vote against the budget agreement when it comes to the Senate floor.
"After careful review of the agreement, I believe it will do disproportionate harm to our military retirees," said Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "Our men and women in uniform have served admirably during some of our nation's most troubling times. They deserve more from us in their retirement than this agreement provides."
Graham noted the budget deal contains a one percent reduction in cost of living benefits for some military retirees. The provision could significantly impact military retiree benefits. For example:
* A 42-year old who retires as an enlisted E-7 could lose a minimum of $72,000.
* A 42-year old Lt. Colonel could lose a minimum of $109,000.
Source: Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)
"I support comprehensive, not piecemeal, pay and benefit reform to deal with rising military personnel costs," said Graham.
"I truly appreciate Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray for their work trying to write a budget that provides relief to the Department of Defense," concluded Graham. "But this agreement doesn't do enough to protect those who have spent their lives protecting our nation."