Disabled military veterans will see their retirement benefits cut under the budget deal passed in the House of Representatives and pending in the Senate, according to the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee.
"I was deeply troubled when my staff and I discovered that even individuals who have been wounded and suffered a service-related disability could see their pensions reduced under this plan," Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., announced in a Tuesday morning statement.
"It is unthinkable that this provision would be included in a deal that spares current civilian workers from the same treatment. An equivalent amount of savings and more can be easily found, and I hope the Senate will move to address the unbalanced treatment of our servicemembers before considering the legislation any further.”
The Senate earlier voted 67-33 to limit debate on the deal, a sign it's likely to pass on a final vote.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., argued that members of Congress have made comparable fiscal sacrifices as he defended cutting the military retirees' benefits.
"We have taken pretty big cuts," Schumer said Monday on MSNBC. "We haven't had a pay raise in a long time, and with the health care [law] most of us are paying more, stuff like that."
Sessions proposed a bill that would insulate the military from such cuts by paying their retirement benefits with money he believes is currently going to illegal immigrants.
"Sessions' amendment would restore the funding by requiring applicants for a particular child tax credit to submit their Social Security numbers. Federal law bars illegal immigrants from collecting tax benefits but that particular tax credit is often claimed by undocumented residents, according to recent watchdog reports," Fox News explained.