On Wednesday the House is scheduled to vote on S. 540, the "Temporary Debt Limit Extension Act," which, in crucial part, will:
(1) suspends the debt limit until March 15, 2015, and preserves the ability of the Secretary to utilize extraordinary measures; (2) modifies the annual cost-of-living adjustment for working-age military retirees in the Ryan-Murray Budget deal so it only applies to service members who joined the Armed Services on or after January 1, 2014
This is not a hard vote. Every Republican should vote yes. The debt limit must be raised, and everyone in the country who knows anything about this issue knows it will be raised and before February 27. President Obama is praying that the GOP some how gums it up and allows a credit crisis to occur the blame for which he can affix to the GOP in a desperate attempt to change the subject from his many failures, especially Obamacare.
The must-pass law has got a second part --the repeal of the cut to military retirement benefits of career military.
The cut was sprung on an unsuspecting Congress in December when the Paul Ryan-Patty Murray budget negotiations were concluded. Many GOP Congressmen voted for it. Strike one.
As news of the cuts spread anger began to mount among veterans and their families and friends. The only cut the country could make was to the retirement benefits of the men and women who had fought the war since it began on 9/11, often through six, seven,even ten deployments, and years away from their families? The only $6 billion the Republicans would insist --absolutely insist-- on cutting would come out of the military's earned pay?
Politicians scrambled, and promises were mumbled about a fix in the spending bill overseen by House Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers, which would actually make the cuts go away, find the money among the trillion dollars about to be allocated to reverse the hit on the career vets. (Again, this cut in retirement benefits only hit men and women who had served or would serve at least 20 years.)
But Hal Rogers didn't deliver. Strike two. Rogers did spend a trillion dollars, but not the 6 billion need to fix the Ryan mistake, instead cooking up a scheme to try and look like he cared about veterans by restoring cut retirement benefits only to veterans who had been seriously wounded in the war, but not to the men and women who had served alongside the wounded soldier, at least as long as he or she had. Whatever Rogers expected, all he got was a reputation for being tricky and anti-veteran.