A bill introduced in the U.S. House on Thursday would restore veterans benefits slashed in the Murray/Ryan budget, funding them by denying tax credits to undocumented immigrants who crossed U.S. borders illegally.
While a deal reached in October to end the government shutdown included a provision giving civilian employees a 1 percent pay hike, the budget deal approved by both chambers this week reduces military pensions by the same 1 percent.
GOP Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Martha Roby of Alabama sponsored H.R. 3788 to restore that loss to military pensioners, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The budget deal even reached into the wallets of disabled veterans, costing them an estimated $124,000.
The Free Beacon reported:
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) attempted on Tuesday to stop the cuts by offering an amendment to close the loophole in the Refundable Child Tax Credit, which the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) says provides incentives for aliens to enter the country illegally. Senate Democrats blocked the amendment.
Nine Republicans joined Senate Democrats in passing the deal Wednesday.
“This nation desperately needs a return to fiscal normalcy and bipartisan cooperation. While the Bipartisan Budget Act is a step in that direction, it does so partly on the backs of our brave military veterans,” Fitzpatrick said in a statement posted on his website. “What I’ve done is introduce a bill to remove that burden from our military retirees and replace it with common sense reforms to the Child Tax Credit program.”
The bill comes as welcome news to retired military personnel.
“I fully support Congressman Fitzpatrick’s bill to repeal the reduction in military retirement benefits in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 and to require the taxpayer Social Security Number to claim a refundable portion of the child tax credit,” said retired Col. Daniel L. Rubini, according to Fitzpatrick’s website. “This is but one highly desirable step to take to keep the promise made to our soldiers.”
The resolution would require those seeking a tax refund or credit to include a Social Security number. Undocumented immigrants submit an identification number provided by the IRS to make such claims.
“Stopping fraud and abuse within the federal government is something we should all agree on — especially when using those dollars to help honor our pledges to our veterans,” Fitzpatrick said. “This bill does that while still keeping a commitment to responsible budgeting.”
“Get the fraud out of the system and put the money in the hands of our soldiers who have sacrificed so much,” Rubini added. They have given to this country more than any other segment of our citizenry.”
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