House GOP: We’re Still Taking Care of Military Pension Cuts

The House will take up the measure separately from the debt ceiling Tuesday night.

Cadets of The United States Military Academy prepare to take their seats for a graduation and commissioning ceremony May 26, 2012 in West Point, New York.
National Journal
Sarah Mimms
Feb. 11, 2014, 5:59 a.m.

Though House Re­pub­lic­ans have settled on a clean debt-ceil­ing meas­ure, they will move for­ward with a plan to re­verse cuts to mil­it­ary pen­sions sep­ar­ately, ac­cord­ing to a seni­or aide.

The House will take up le­gis­la­tion Tues­day night to re­verse the pen­sion cuts, in or­der to al­low mem­bers to leave be­fore a snowstorm hits the Wash­ing­ton area on Wed­nes­day.

The meas­ure will off­set the $6 bil­lion cost of main­tain­ing the cur­rent COLA pro­gram for mil­it­ary re­tir­ees by adding an ad­di­tion­al year of man­dat­ory se­quest­ra­tion cuts. Those cuts will come in 2024.

The COLA fix was ori­gin­ally slated to be at­tached to the debt ceil­ing, but after hear­ing the com­plaints of their mem­ber­ship at a closed-door meet­ing Monday night and whip­ping the meas­ure over the last 24 hours, lead­er­ship de­cided to split up the two votes.

Though mem­bers of both parties widely fa­vor a fix for the pen­sion cuts, which were in­cluded in last Decem­ber’s budget agree­ment, Demo­crats had in­dic­ated that they would ac­cept only a clean debt-ceil­ing vote.

Minor­ity Whip Steny Hoy­er said Tues­day that he hadn’t coun­ted the Demo­crat­ic votes for the COLA meas­ure be­cause he had just heard about it, but noted that he would per­son­ally op­pose the meas­ure be­cause of the off­set. “I think the se­quester is bad policy,” Hoy­er said.

However, a ma­jor­ity of House Demo­crats voted for the budget deal in Decem­ber, which ex­ten­ded the man­dat­ory se­quester for an ad­di­tion­al two years, a sign that the caucus as a whole may sup­port the off­set.

The Sen­ate, mean­while, is likely to fa­vor the COLA le­gis­la­tion as well. The cham­ber is cur­rently look­ing at sev­er­al op­tions to re­verse the cuts and a clo­ture vote on le­gis­la­tion that was not paid for passed on a shock­ing 94-0 vote Monday.

The move by House Re­pub­lic­an lead­er­ship to pur­sue the pen­sion re­versal is a blow for Budget Chair­man Paul Ry­an, who pushed for the cuts in last Decem­ber’s budget ne­go­ti­ations.

This post has been up­dated to re­flect a chance in the House sched­ule, due to a pending snowstorm.

What We're Following See More »
TAKING A LONG VIEW TO SOUTHERN STATES
In Dropout Speech, Santorum Endorses Rubio
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

As expected after earlier reports on Wednesday, Rick Santorum ended his presidential bid. But less expected: he threw his support to Marco Rubio. After noting he spoke with Rubio the day before for an hour, he said, “Someone who has a real understanding of the threat of ISIS, real understanding of the threat of fundamentalist Islam, and has experience, one of the things I wanted was someone who has experience in this area, and that’s why we decided to support Marco Rubio.” It doesn’t figure to help Rubio much in New Hampshire, but the Santorum nod could pay dividends down the road in southern states.

Source:
‘PITTING PEOPLE AGAINST EACH OTHER’
Rubio, Trump Question Obama’s Mosque Visit
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

President Obama’s decision to visit a mosque in Baltimore today was never going to be completely uncontroversial. And Donald Trump and Marco Rubio proved it. “Maybe he feels comfortable there,” Trump told interviewer Greta van Susteren on Fox News. “There are a lot of places he can go, and he chose a mosque.” And in New Hampshire, Rubio said of Obama, “Always pitting people against each other. Always. Look at today – he gave a speech at a mosque. Oh, you know, basically implying that America is discriminating against Muslims.”

Source:
THE TIME IS NOW, TED
Cruz Must Max Out on Evangelical Support through Early March
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

For Ted Cruz, a strong showing in New Hampshire would be nice, but not necessary. That’s because evangelical voters only make up 21% of the Granite State’s population. “But from the February 20 South Carolina primary through March 15, there are nine states (South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Carolina) with an estimated white-Evangelical percentage of the GOP electorate over 60 percent, and another four (Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, and Missouri) that come in over 50 percent.” But after that, he better be in the catbird’s seat, because only four smaller states remain with evangelical voter majorities.

Source:
CHRISTIE, BUSH TRYING TO TAKE HIM DOWN
Rubio Now Winning the ‘Endorsement Primary’
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Since his strong third-place finish in Iowa, Marco Rubio has won endorsement by two sitting senators and two congressmen, putting him in the lead for the first time of FiveThirtyEight‘s Endorsement Tracker. “Some politicians had put early support behind Jeb Bush — he had led [their] list since August — but since January the only new endorsement he has received was from former presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham.” Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that fueled by resentment, “members of the Bush and Christie campaigns have communicated about their mutual desire to halt … Rubio’s rise in the polls.”

Source:
ARE YOU THE GATEKEEPER?
Sanders: Obama Is a Progressive
1 days ago
THE LATEST

“Do I think President Obama is a progressive? Yeah, I do,” said Bernie Sanders, in response to a direct question in tonight’s debate. “I think they’ve done a great job.” But Hillary Clinton wasn’t content to sit out the latest chapter in the great debate over the definition of progressivism. “In your definition, with you being the gatekeeper of progressivism, I don’t think anyone else fits that definition,” she told Sanders.

×