Griffin cosponsors COLA bills

Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.) became a cosponsor of three bills on Thursday that would eliminate a cost-of-living adjustment reduction for veterans and members of the military who have retired.

The Bipartisan Budget Act would restrict the annual COLA adjustment of military pensions to one percentage point less than the consumer price index beginning in 2016.

“The military retiree COLA reduction of one percent was negotiated as part of the Ryan-Murray budget agreement to accompany the requirement that federal civilian employees increase their pension contributions to 4.4 percent,” Griffin said.

Griffin has cosponsored two bills that were introduced by House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) on Thursday. One bill would eliminate the COLA provision for military retirees and the other bill would eliminate the COLA provision for medically retired veterans and surviving spouses.

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) also introduced a bill that Griffin cosponsored. The measure would eliminate the COLA reduction and replace those cost savings by not allowing undocumented immigrants to claim tax credits for children without providing a social security number for them.

“…Spending cuts that burden our veterans and service members are not the way to get our federal spending under control, and we must address the true drivers of our debt and deficit, including reforms to Social Security and Medicare for those not currently enrolled in these programs,” Griffin said. “I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that Congress addresses excessive government spending without placing an undue burden on our veterans, service members and their families.”