Lawmaker: ‘Expedite Bill to Kill COLA Adjustment’

Lawmaker: ‘Expedite Bill to Kill COLA Adjustment’

It may not be until spring that veterans’ groups and military associations see any action on efforts to restore full cost-of-living adjustments to the pay of working age military retirees.

And even then the measure typically would not be signed into law any earlier than late 2014.

That’s too slow, says a freshman Texas lawmaker, who wants the law trimming military retirements for those under 62 acted on quickly.


“It’s been 24 days since I sponsored the legislation” to halt the adjustments, Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Texas said on Friday. H.R. 3790, filed by Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla. It is now “sitting idle” with the House Armed Services Committee, says Gallego.

“That is unacceptable. We must honor the men and women who served – through real actions and not lip service,” he said.

Gallego on Thursday sent letters to House Speaker Rep. John Boehner, R-Ill., as well as to the chairs of the House and Senate appropriations committees, asking them “for immediate action – to bring the bills for a vote and to fix this for our military retirees.”

He asks Boehner to get Miller’s bill to the floor for a vote. Separately, he asks Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., the appropriations chairmen, to restore the full COLA as part of omnibus budget bills they will oversee.

Gallego said he voted for the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 worked out by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., because sequestration cuts were damaging national security and the economy. Like other lawmakers, he was happy that the deal partially restored some of the funds that the Pentagon was about to lose and make up for by reductions to training, equipment and exercises.

He was not alone in swallowing hard and voting for the deal.

Republicans and Democrats alike did so – just to get a deal and avoid another showdown and possible shutdown over spending. But  many quickly many quickly began slamming the COLA provision and called to for a do-over to get rid of the adjustment.

Within days more than a dozen bills intended to do just that were introduced, most of them in the House.

They are now with the House Armed Services Committee and are not expected to be cleared through it, if any are, for a few more months.

“Typically, this committee acts on a single comprehensive piece of legislation authorizing the department of defense every year,” HASC spokesman Claude Chafin said on Friday in an email to DodBuzz. “We will begin the oversight work to draft that legislation shortly,” It will be considered by the committee and then the full house sometime in the spring.”

If it follows the usual path that legislation has taken over the past several years, it will be included – if passed – with the National Defense Authorization Act and be signed by the President toward the end of 2014.

“Typically this committee acts on a single comprehensive piece of legislation authorizing the Department of Defense every year,” HASC spokesman Claude Chafin said on Friday in an email to DodBuzz. “We will begin the oversight work to draft that legislation shortly, it will be considered by the committee and then the full house sometime in the spring.”

But if the legislation follows the path DoD legislation has followed for the last several years it will not reach President Obama’s desk for a signature until the whole deal is authorized toward the end of 2014, he said.

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Confusing Title.
The bill would “restore full cost-of-living adjustments” which means it would ‘kill’ the earlier COLA ‘kill’. In any case, it looks like its all about political grandstanding on Gallegas’ part. Methinks the Rep is in CYA mode for 2014.

Gallegas =Gallego.

Any bill to restore any of the cuts made to funding for military personnel will be DOA in Congress. After all, it’s military personnel vs. military contractors, and we all know the contractors have a lot more clout. Of course, it’s hard for me to have any sympathy given the fact that these contractors are a monster of the military’s own making.

Any of these Sentaors and Congressmen who believes the Pentagon is really hurt by the sequestration doesn’t have a clue what’s included in these massive spending bills! Even common sense suggests that the Pentagon will have to get smaller over the years. There’s NO real threat out there! Over 2 million men and women in the active, reserve and guard forces and we STILL can’t win a war against a bunch of insurgents! Let along the fact you have a better chance of being hit TWICE by two different asteroids than being killed by a terrorist!

This is all about Eisenhower’s military-industrial complex come full circle and, like a blood-sucking vampire, doesn’t want to let go of taxpayer’s money. And military our vets. Good Bless them, but give me a break! You are sending our children and grandchildren into debt so you can get your 1%. (Within 20 years, they will pay you back by repudiating all U.S. debt and defaulting on your entire pension!)

It was not the military that made monsters out of the defense contractors,
because it is not the military itself who has the final say in defense budget legislation.

When is the last time bribing privates, sergeants, and junior officers brought aproval of a defense contract?

It is the lawmakers who are to blame here, not the personnel whose lives are actually sent into harm’s way with equipment that doesn’t always perform to what was promised in its advertisement.

Boo hoo that some freshman lawmaker, regardless of state, can’t get a majority on board for his sponsored legislation.
But then again, there’s no money to be made pony’ing up to consituents who can’t offer you six-figure campaign contributions. You ned industry and corporations for that, specifically defense industry corporations.
As much as could be funded across a wide spectrum all for the price of 1 or 2 F-35s, don’t expect any foreseeable cuts at Lockheed Martin encouraged by any junior lawmakers.
Too much campaign money to had from such sources.
But hey, military is all about people making sacrifices. Let’s take some more from them.

There are no laws forcing the military to outsource jobs. There are no laws forcing the military to outsource the development of ships, airplanes, or guns. There are no laws forcing the military to outsources research and development. There are no laws forcing the military to pay a profit to companies doing weapons development. Those were all the doing of the military itself. So now they’re getting screwed by the monster they made. Boo f’ing hoo. It’s well past time the military grew a pair.

And yet another person talking about something they don’t know about. Since you are so smart why don’t you explain to us the inner workings of these spending bills.

I’m retired Army and a government employee and I can tell you for a fact that you say the Pentagon is bloated, I have never been there but I can imagine the Pentagon is, but us employee’s that are on the ground supporting these units are really hurting for people and money so that we can support the soldiers the way they deserve to be.

You apparently haven’t been served and been deployed either if your talking crap about the U.S. not being able to “win a war against insurgents”. You do realize that they are not an organized force, they don’t wear a uniform and blend into the population, they don’t have rules of engagement and the list goes on.

Lmfao so you are telling me that because we want our cost of living allowance we are the only class of Americans that are responsible for the debt? Don’t even answer that because you can’t possibly be foolish enough to truly believe that.

Whatever.
Last I heard, it was both halves of Congress arguing final say over the parts of the NDAA.
It’s Congressmen and –women who have final say, who sign the final pay-this-contractor check.
Not The Joint Chiefs. Not Odierno.
The generals and admirals might have their preferred projects they would like to see their funding go to, but it’s still ultimately the legislators’ call, because 99 times out of 100 it’s the legislators’ constituents whose jobs are on the line for said defense contract money.
Generals and admirals don’t get elected. Congress does.
When was the last time it was the Sec of Agriculture sign farm aid bills,
or Sec of Trans signing highway and infrastructure bill,
or Sec of Ed signing school aid?
It’s Congress,
and it’s the POTUS with his to-veto-or-not-to-veto that are the ultimate budget authority in this nation. Neuter them and their perks first.
Show me the defense budget line items where the generals and admirals signed the approval to pay the contractor, instead of Congress and their appointees.
When was the last time Congress told each service, “Here’s your cut, spend it wherever, however, we don’t care” ?

They continue to cut troop levels, salaries, and benefits so there will be more money to give to the defense contractors for weapons and services. That’s the monster of the military’s own making. The military made these defense contractors rich so they can hire the best lobbyists, they gave them a revolving door so the contractors could be the ultimate insiders, and then they whine and complain when the contractors take their money because they have a better lobby with congress than the troops do. I’m sorry, but I have to classify that under the “stupid should hurt” category.

And you think a SFC with 22 years has anything to do with those contracts? That’s who is taking the brunt of this (since that is the profile of the average military retiree), not the big wigs in the military like the retired General Officers who are supporting this.…a little sympathy for the guy who joined to serve his country and did all the deployments.…

$6B will neither save nor bankrupt the country. We need true entitlement reform like shifting ALL government COLA to Chained CPI rather than CPI-W (about .3% a year less). But since that would apply to federal civilian pensions, military pensions and all other govt payouts, it would save hundreds of billions of dollars and then we could make a real dent in entitlement spending which now outpaces Pentagon and discretionary domestic spending. At it’s current pace of growth, it will take every penny brought in within 20 years and we will have to borrow for everything else. Military retirees are willing to be part of shared sacrifice but not be the animal on the altar having its throat slit so the rest can be promised rain or good crops or whatever.…

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