The fundamental principle of the Ryan/Murray Act is that the additional spending must be offset by taxes and spending cuts, Sessions explained. “One of the spending cuts were those cuts to the veterans, so if you take out the cuts to the veterans, where are you going to get the money to make sure the bill paid for as promised?” he asked.
Sen. Sessions spoke on the Senate floor on Monday to discuss the Pryor amendment, which would restore the pension cuts from the Ryan-Murray spending agreement but would violate that law’s spending limits in doing so.
As Sessions noted, Senate Democrats were the ones who insisted that the Ryan-Murray plan be rushed through without amendment, even though the military pension flaw was clearly exposed well in advance. Now, two months later, they are proposing a measure that would restore the cuts without attempting to pay for it–despite the fact that Sessions and others have introduced amendments to pay for the restoration by closing a tax welfare loophole that has allowed illegal aliens to claim credits to which they are not legally entitled.
“We’ve offered a perfectly reasonable–actually, essential–loophole-closing mechanism to pay for [the restoration of veterans’ benefits] and even more than that. So let me make it clear, the bill before us today is placing us in a position to choose from allowing an illegality to continue or cutting benefits earned by our veterans. So what we’re seeing is an astonishingly cynical move…”
Sessions noted that he had offered the amendment to save the soldiers’ pensions and pay for it by closing this tax loophole but Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and fellow Democrats had blocked the effort. “Not once but twice.”