The article reports:
The legislation, S 1963, would repeal the portion of the Bipartisan Budget Act that will reduce annual COLA increases by 1 percentage point for “working age” retirees, starting in late 2015.
The Senate Armed Services Committee had scheduled a hearing to consider Pryor’s bill the same evening; that markup has been canceled and the full Senate instead will vote on whether to debate the bill.
Previous attempts at repeal have been unsuccessful–blocked by Senator Harry Reid. It is interesting to me that Senator Mark Pryor is sponsoring the bill that Senator Reid is finally willing to consider. Senator Pryor is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents facing re-election in 2014. He voted for ObamaCare and has generally supported President Obama’s policies. Recently he has attempted to distance himself from those policies. He is being challenged for his seat by freshman Republican Representative Tom Cotton. The Democrats do not want to lose that seat, and having Senator Pryor sponsor this bill is one way to make him look good.
The article reports:
Numerous lawmakers have offered other proposals to offset the loss of savings. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., has proposed closing a tax loophole that allows undocumented workers to receive tax credits for their children.
As part of a broad, $30 billion veterans’ bill, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., proposed to pay for repealing the COLA caps by using wartime contingency funding.
Other legislators, both in the House and Senate, have introduced bills that would offset the cost of repeal by tightening regulations on U.S. companies that shelter funds in foreign tax havens; cutting Saturday postal service; blocking foreign aid to Egypt or Pakistan; and consolidating the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments’ prescription drug purchasing programs.
It will be interesting to see if the COLA caps are repealed and how that repeal is paid for. The COLA caps were the only cut in the omnibus spending bill. If they go away, Congress will have again succeeded in passing a budget without any actual budget cuts. This is what Democrats and establishment Republicans do. We need to vote all of them out of office.