SHAHEEN INTRODUCES AMENDMENT TO REVERSE MILITARY RETIREE COLA REDUCTION, CLOSE OFFSHORE TAX LOOPHOLE

February 11, 2014

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today introduced an amendment that would undo the cost of living adjustment (COLA) reduction for military retirees and replace those savings by closing an offshore tax loophole. The amendment is similar to language Shaheen filed last year as standalone legislation titled the Military Retirement Restoration Act, which Shaheen introduced in response to last year’s bipartisan budget agreement which reduced cost of living adjustments for military retirees.  The Senate is currently debating legislation to repeal the COLA adjustment without finding alternative savings.

Shaheen’s amendment is cosponsored by United States Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Mark Udall (D-CO), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ed Markey (D-MA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Al Franken (MN) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

“My amendment provides a common sense plan to replace the COLA reduction for military retirees with alternative savings,” Shaheen said. “We need to protect these future cost of living adjustments for military retirees who have bravely fought to protect our country. I hope that my colleagues will support this practical measure to pay for that plan.”

Shaheen has been vocal about the need to undo the COLA adjustment for military retirees. In December, she spoke on the Senate floor about her legislation and suggested that “most Americans would agree that this kind of tax avoidance is unfair and that we should close this tax loophole rather than reducing military retiree benefits.”

As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Shaheen has been a strong advocate for our nation’s veterans.  Shaheen is a cosponsor of the Retired Pay Restoration Act of 2014 and an original cosponsor of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act. In 2012, Shaheen worked to protect veterans’ health care programs from across the board budget cuts and is also a co-sponsored legislation that would require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide for a full-service VA hospital for veterans in New Hampshire.