Also impacted is the veteran community, particularly by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. The act reduces the cost-of-living adjustments for veterans’ retirement compensation to 1 percent below inflation as determined by the consumer price index. Earlier this month, Congress was able to amend the Bipartisan Budget Act with the Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which included a provision exempting disabled veterans and survivors from the cuts. Everyone else, however, faces the current COLA reduction, beginning in 2015. Our nation’s veterans depend on this deserved compensation to maintain their livelihood, especially in this current economy.
Congress and the Defense Department have, through sequestration and budget cuts, landed major blows to our Navy’s overall readiness, morale within our military and the veteran community. The side effects stemming from these cuts could impact the fleet’s ability to perform as a nuclear deterrent, success of future missions, and performance and recruitment. Our Navy and veterans have made sacrifices for their country, but that doesn’t mean that they should be the first to be sacrificed by Congress and DOD.
Anthony A. Wallis is director of legislation for the Association of the United States Navy. He served as a congressional staffer in the House and Senate from 2004 to 2011 and received a master’s degree from the U.S. Naval War College in 2010.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.