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Public Statements

Military Retirement COLA

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. COBURN. Madam President, regardless of which side one falls on the Ryan-Murray budget deal reduction in the annual COLA increase for working age military retirees, the sad fact is with the passage of this legislation we are breaking our previous promise to taxpayers to reduce the deficit. Instead of coming up with a real offset for a mere $6.2 billion in spending, the Senate has chosen to resort to budgetary gimmicks to disguise the true cost of our politically expedient decisions, and has yet again punted the hard decisions that must be made to future generations.

By offsetting real and immediate spending with a promise of future spending reductions with the extension of sequestration cuts to Medicare through 2024, beyond the 10-year budget window, the savings from this budget trick will not materialize and taxpayers will not be made whole. By passing this legislation, we are sending a signal that this body does not have the fortitude to lead as our constituents have chosen us to do--to take on the sacred cows like military compensation that must be part of the national conversation about our spending and reform.

As we prepare to pass this legislation, every Member of this body would do well to consider these words by former Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen: ``The most significant threat to our national security is our debt.'' We best honor the sacrifice of our military veterans and realize a more safe and secure future by keeping our promise to reduce the national debt. By refusing to come up with a real offset to pay for the repeal of the COLA cut, the Senate is undermining our veterans, our country, and our future.

I yield the floor.

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