told reporters Thursday he expects Congress to eventually restore full pension payments for working-age military retirees.
The budget bill — just passed by the Senate, but opposed by Blunt — includes a reduction of cost-of-living-adjustments for some military retirees. The cuts are expected to save the federal government $6 billion over 10 years.
The provision won’t take effect for two years.
But the COLA cut, of one percent for military retirees under the age of 62, has provoked an outcry from some in the military. “This proposal has outraged our members and the military retiree community, as well as the active duty, Guard and Reserve ranks, because the COLA penalty breaks faith with military retirees,” saidWilliam Thien
of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
In a conference call with reporters, Blunt said he expects an effort to restore the funding.
“I am virtually certain that there’s going to be a review of this decision on pensions,” he said. “This is going to have a fair look, but it hasn’t happened yet, and it was an unfortunate addition to that bill.”
Politico has reported the pension cut was the idea of Rep.Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin. It was strongly supported by GOP Sen. John McCain
of Arizona, a Navy veteran.
Blunt also defended his support for more F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters, made in St. Louis, and the A10 Warthog aircraft.
The Missouri Republican said the Pentagon is still a major part of deficit reduction efforts.