House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has scrubbed a document to remove a false statement about the budget deal he cut with Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Breitbart News has learned.
An original talking point in the document claimed the plan’s cuts to military pensions for wounded warriors, or service members who retired as a result of disability or injury, would not be affected.
The section of the original document, at the end of page two and top of page three, is titled: “Annual adjustment of retired pay and retainer pay amounts for retired members of the Armed Forces under age 62.”
“This provision modifies the annual cost-of-living adjustment for working-age military retirees by making the adjustments equal to inflation minus one percent,” the section reads in the original document, as obtained by Breitbart News. “This change would be gradually phased in, with no change for the current year, a 0.25 percent decrease in December 2014, and a 0.5 percent decrease in December 2015. This would not affect service members who retired because of disability or injury. Service members would never see a reduction in benefits from one year to the next.”
The key sentence in that paragraph is this claim: “This would not affect service members who retired because of disability or injury.”
In the document currently hosted on Ryan’s Budget Committee website, that claim has been scrubbed from that section in addition to other changes.
“This provision modifies the annual cost-of-living adjustment for working-age military retirees by making the adjustments equal to inflation minus one percent,” the current House Budget Committee document reads regarding military pensions. “This provision would go into effect in December 2015. At age 62, the retired pay would be adjusted as if the COLA had been the full CPI adjustment in all previous years, and the service members would receive the full COLA from then on. Service members would never see a reduction in benefits from one year to the next and it will save approximately $6 billion over ten years.”
Ryan’s committee removed the claim that wounded warriors’ pensions would not be affected by the cuts because the claim is not true, as the Washington Free Beacon documented.
Ryan’s spokesman Will Allison admitted to Breitbart News that Ryan’s team did in fact edit the document. Allison said Ryan’s staff discovered the claim was in fact incorrect and then edited the document on Tuesday, Dec. 10–two days before the House vote. But Allison would not answer when asked multiple times if Ryan and his committee staff notified House members of the significant change to that document–which may in fact have led to a decision for some House members on which way they would have voted on the bill.
“The original version of that document had incorrect information,” Allison said in an email. “It was corrected as soon as the error was discovered on the evening of Tuesday, December 10, well before the House considered the legislation.”
While Allison would not answer whether whether Ryan and his committee staff notified House members of the correction to the document, Allison did say that committees other than Ryan’s had correct information on the matter on their websites.
Allison pointed to two documents–the 77-page text of the bill and a highly-technical 16-page bill summary–posted on the website of the House Rules Committee that he says always had the correct information. Ryan is not the chairman of the House Rules Committee nor even a member of the Rules Committee. Ryan is the chairman of the House Budget Committee. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) is the chairman of the House Rules Committee.