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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Military Retirement Benefits At Risk In Budget Bill

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) greets James Adams, Claims Consultant of National Veterans Service, after a news conference on veteran benefits December 17, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) greets James Adams, Claims Consultant of National Veterans Service, after a news conference on veteran benefits December 17, 2013, on Capitol Hill. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The Senate is slated to pass a bipartisan budget bill that includes a provision that would cut retirement benefits for military retirees by $6 billion over 10 years.

The House Budget Committee chair, Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan, put the provision in the bill. His committee has defended the action, saying that military retirement is an “exceptionally generous benefit, often providing 40 years of pension payment in return for 20 years of service.”

But there has been a lot of criticism, even from other Republicans, including Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions who said, “It’s not correct and it should not happen.”

Retired Army colonel Mike Barron, who is deputy director of government relations at the Military Officers Association of America, joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss the impact of the measure.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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