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It’s About a Promise: Wicker, Cochran Say They’re Moving to Restore Benefits

WASHINGTON, D.C.–With the budget bill that was passed last year came the news that the cost of living adjustment for active military and retirees was being taken out. That got the bill a no vote from Mississippi’s senators, even though the three Republican representatives voted for the bill. Now, there’s a move to put those benefits back in place.

Sen. Roger Wicker said it’s about a promise.

“It is unfair to make a promise to members of our military and then – after they have honorably fulfilled every part of their obligation – have their government fail to live up to its part of the bargain,” said Wicker. “This amendment represents fairness for our veterans. Congress needs to keep its promise to those who have voluntarily chosen a life in military service.”

Now he and Cochran are co-sponsoring and promoting an amendment to the unemployment extension bill that would bring back that $6 billion.

The provision, sponsored by Senator Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., would pay for the reinstatement of the funds by closing a loophole in the U.S. tax code that allows illegal immigrants to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit. A recent report conducted by the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates this change will save approximately $20 billion over the next 10 years, said a joint news release from Cochran and Wicker.

“There is no justification in first turning to those who have served or are serving in the military and asking them to make new sacrifices,” said Cochran. “This amendment addresses our concerns regarding cuts to benefits for retired and active duty military personnel.”

Wicker said he sees Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) as the key opposition, and believed he might not let the amendment out on the Senate floor.

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