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Public Statements

Restoring the Military COLA

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. BOOZMAN. Mr. President, in last year's budget agreement our retired servicemembers were unjustly targeted to bear the burden of irresponsible spending. Balancing the budget on the backs of our servicemembers is a reckless move which violates the responsibility we have to those who wear our Nation's uniform, which is why I voted against the budget agreement.

Numerous Arkansans have reached out to me urging Congress to correct these misguided cuts. I have been encouraging my colleagues to restore these cuts at the earliest opportunity in order to provide certainty for our military retirees' financial future. I, working with others in this body, have worked hard to bring this to a vote.

Yesterday, the House took action. I am pleased to be able to stand here today and tell those Arkansans and all veterans that the Senate has followed suit and corrected this injustice.

However, we must continue working to fully repeal the section of the Bipartisan Budget Act which reduces retirement pay for those who enlist after January 1, 2014. Any changes which Congress may consider to our military compensation system should be done in a thoughtful and responsible manner in the context of a broader compensation system.

I supported this bill before the Senate today to restore the full cost of living adjustment for those enlisted prior to 2014, but I will continue working to fully repeal this cut which singles out current military enlistments to bear the burden of wasteful Washington spending. We need to right this wrong so our veterans, servicemembers, and their families have one less thing to worry about. However, this overwhelmingly bipartisan vote today was certainly a step in the right direction.

I yield the floor.


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