Hoeven: Senate Votes to Restore Military Retiree COLA

Senator Worked to Include Pay For, Win Bipartisan Support

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today spoke on the Senate floor to rally bipartisan support to restore the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for military retirees, which was reduced in the budget agreement passed by Congress on December 18, 2013. The budget agreement reduced the retiree COLA by 1 percent until veterans reach the age of 62, at which time the adjustment would be restored. The policy was scheduled to take effect in December of 2015.

The senator’s speech came just ahead of the bipartisan Senate vote approving repeal of the COLA reduction with a fiscal pay for to cover the $6.8 billion cost of reinstating it. The COLA reduction fix will be paid for by extending for one year the mandatory spending reductions included in the budget agreement.

“I opposed this provision in the budget, and I have co-sponsored legislation to fix it – meaning fully reinstating the COLA for our military retirees,” Hoeven said on the floor prior to the vote. “The bill we are considering today – and will be voting on later today – fixes the COLA problem. That’s good. That’s what we want to do. That’s what I believe the vast majority of the members in this body want to do. We should pass this bill, and I believe we will.”

Earlier this week, Hoeven introduced an amendment to pay for the COLA fix and help get the legislation passed. “Fixing the COLA for our retired military was a huge priority for me,” Hoeven said.

He concluded his floor speech today prior to the vote with the following:

“So today I ask my fellow senators to join with me and to vote for our men and women in uniform – to vote to fix the COLA for our military retired, and to support those great men and women who wear the uniform and who honor us, protect us, and serve this nation and the cause of liberty and freedom with their dedicated service. Join with me and support them, and vote for this legislation.”