After Representative Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) succeeded in pushing through one percent cuts in the annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for veteran and military retiree pension funds, Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) pushed back by urging cuts in foreign aid instead.
Breitbart News spoke with Poe on January 6th, and he made clear he was alarmed by plans to place these cuts on “benefits that were promised [to our military personnel] when they signed up to serve our country.”
Poe voted against the cuts; he explained that the “one percent” aspect is misleading, as the cuts “could amount to a 20 percent decrease in some military pensions over 20 years.” He finds this unacceptable: “Those who have spent their lives protecting the rest of us should be the last to sacrifice what they have earned in order to pay for even more Washington spending.”
To correct this, Poe introduced the Uphold Our Promise to Veterans Act. This bill restores the funding taken by Ryan’s plan by finding cuts elsewhere–particularly in “the billions in foreign aid we give Egypt and Pakistan each year.”
Poe’s legislation would also require the federal government to sell some of its unused land holdings as a revenue source. He said the federal government “owns 27 percent of the total land in our country–equivalent to the size of Western Europe.” If the feds sold this land it could “generate up to $1.1 trillion.”
For Poe, the decision is easy–protect the pensions of our military personnel by finding savings in foreign aid or raising capital through land sales. Yet Rep. Ryan continues to stand his ground and hold to one option–cutting the pensions which impact the futures of our fighting men and women.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.