Sanders questions veterans service organizations on cuts in Disability Benefits

Sanders Questions Veterans Service

Organizations on Cuts in Disability Benefits

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 – As a Friday deadline neared in Congress’s latest budget showdown, Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today questioned veterans group leaders about a proposal that would cut the benefits of more than 3.2 million disabled veterans and more than 55 million Social Security recipients.

Sanders has led opposition in Congress to reducing benefits by adopting a so-called chained CPI changing how the consumer price index is calculated. “It would mean very significant cuts for Social Security beneficiaries as well as for disabled veterans,” Sanders said at a joint hearing of the Senate and House veterans’ affairs committees.

Sanders asked representatives of veteran service organizations for their assessment of the proposal.

Tom Tarantino, the policy chief for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, called it “a terrible idea.” He added, “It astounds me that we keep asking veterans to sacrifice more and more.”

H. Gene Overstreet, president of the Non-Commissioned Officers Association, called it “a bad idea” and said “veterans have paid their due.”

“Unconscionable,” was how Charles Susino, the World War II veteran and national commander of the American Ex-Prisoners of War, characterized the proposal.

The proposed change in how the consumer price index is calculated would result in significantly lower annual cost-of-living adjustments for more than 3.2 million disabled veterans receiving disability compensation benefits from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Veterans who started receiving VA disability benefits at age 30 would have their benefits reduced by $1,425 at age 45, $2,341 at age 55 and $3,231 at age 65, according to the Congressional Budget Office. More than 55 million retirees, widows, orphans and disabled Americans on Social Security also would be affected by the switch to a so-called chained CPI.

The proposal has been advanced by House Republicans and embraced by some Democrats. The White House has said that President Barack Obama would consider the chained CPI as a way to cut benefits by billions of dollars.

Contact: Michael Briggs (202) 224-5141

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Press Release

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Ronald Marmon
3 years 9 months ago
This is the worst thing I have ever heard of such attacks on The Veterans that served their country to keep it free. Not only that you also attack the very sole of the disabled and elderly. What kind of nation is this. I served 10 years in the United States Marine Corps and I volunteered for the infantry and went to Viet Nam 1966 to 1967. As most of us we came to an unthankfull nation. I now have cancer do to agent orange, PTSD, heart problems and you now say to me and all other Veterans to give… Read more »
Lee Meyers
3 years 9 months ago
Mr. Sanders comes on like a person who has never served his country in uniform and don’t have any idea os the hardships encountered by all of us who did serve. I came home with Malaria and shrapnel in my left leg, a leg which has since been amputated. My service was during WWII and I served in New Guinea, New Britain, and the Philippines, where I was wounded. I wonder how much members of Congress have taken a pay cut and gave up all of their “perks” as well as taking a reduced retirement which is above and beyond… Read more »
Stuart Hill
3 years 9 months ago
There are a great many who still view all that served in the military as villains. Add to that the attitude that has been cultivated against aging and the WWII Korea era vets are fairly heavily demonized. Likewise the Vietnam era vets and Gulf War I vets are being painted as being drains on money that would e better spent on helping the upper middle class liberals and their family. I’m not being sarcastic in saying that. Look at who the people are screaming that they deserve free health care as a right. Often it is those most able to… Read more »
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