SENATE DEMOCRATS BLOCK AMENDMENT TO RESTORE MILITARY PENSIONS

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Amendment would close loophole that allows tax refunds for illegal aliens.

Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked a Republican attempt to restore military pensions cut in last month’s budget deal, denying a vote that would save up to $20 billion by closing a loophole that allows tax refunds to go to illegal aliens.

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Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) called an effort by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R., N.H.) to repeal the military retiree cuts “fiddling while Rome burns.”

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Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) “filled the amendment tree” on Thursday, ending debate and blocking any Republican amendments to a bill to extend unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

Among them was Ayotte’s measure, which would repeal cuts to military pensions by ending a loophole in the tax code that allows illegal immigrants to receive the Additional Child Tax Credit. Her attempt to get a vote failed 42-54, with only one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), voting with Republicans.

“It’s a sad day when a common sense amendment to responsibly pay for legislation that helps struggling Americans, repeals unfair military retirement benefits and reduces the deficit can’t even get a vote in the Senate,” Ayotte said in a statement.

The amendment would have repealed a provision in the budget deal that hits military retirees with a 1 percent decrease in their annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLA), which could cost servicemembers up to $124,000 in lost retirement pay. Federal civilian retiree pensions were not cut.

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The budget agreement also did not exempt disabled military retirees despite early assurances from the House Budget Committee. The cuts will save an estimated $6 billion over 10 years.

Ayotte offered her plan, the “Keeping Our Promise to Our Military Heroes Act’’ (S. 1869), as an amendment to the UI bill. The measure would require a Social Security number in order for an individual to receive the Additional Child Tax Credit. Ayotte’s office said the bill would save approximately $20 billion over 10 years.

According to the Treasury Inspector General for the Tax Administration (TIGTA), the refund provides incentives for aliens to enter the country illegally and cost taxpayers $4.2 billion alone in fraudulent payments in 2010.

Read More: http://freebeacon.com/senate-democrats-block-amendment-to-restore-military-pensions/

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