Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

Paul Ryan Votes ‘No’ on Military COLA Bill

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans hastily moved Tuesday to pass a bill reversing cuts to military pensions. But one influential Republican didn’t go along: Paul D. Ryan, the man who brokered the deal enacting the cuts in the first place.

“This bill undermines one part of last year’s bipartisan budget agreement,” the Wisconsin Republican and Budget Committee chairman said in a statement after the vote. “I’m glad it keeps the compensation reforms for federal employees and billions of dollars in commonsense cuts. But on military compensation, it takes a step back.”

The military cost-of-living adjustment bill easily passed under suspension of the rules Tuesday, 326-90. Nineteen Republicans voted against the measure, which would pay for extending military-retiree benefits that were recently cut under the budget agreement by extending sequestration levels for Medicare.

Ryan’s break with GOP leadership on the bill is a bit surprising, even if he was the one behind the cuts when he brokered a budget deal with Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash.

“Our military leaders — and the math — have been clear: Compensation costs are hollowing out the Pentagon’s budget,” Ryan said in his statement. “They are taking resources away from training and modernization — and putting our troops at risk. This bill takes away over $6 billion from military readiness.”

House Armed Services ranking Democrat Adam Smith of Washington made a similar argument on the floor.

Ryan made the case in his statement that the budget agreement delayed the military-retirement changes for two years so the Pentagon’s compensation commission would have time to think of alternative reforms if necessary.

“This bill undercuts that process,” he said. “Rather than making the tough choices, it sidesteps them. I’m open to replacing this reform with a better alternative. But I cannot support kicking the can down the road.”

  • LeavingMyRepublicanParty

    Paul Ryan is a chicken hawk making $180,000 per year who voted twice to send troops to war, wars he didn’t fund. Then he loots those very veterans pensions. He is totally lacking in any moral compass.

    • el Morte

      Yeah, but did you see his ad for P80X! Man is he buff.

    • blfdjlj

      Military pensions should be cut. Every federal employee suffered cuts, there’s no reason why the military should be exempt.

      • Layla

        How many federal employees are living on food stamps? You’d have to pay the military a living wage before you think about cutting them. Why do Congressional staff need pensions? They can get other jobs, and the same with federal employees.

  • LeavingMyRepublicanParty

    He voted yes for wars.

  • LeavingMyRepublicanParty

    He voted yes for wars.

    • Layla

      Then he’d best be prepared to go himself or send his kids.

  • Leslie Piper

    A fool and a chicken posing in Chambers of the US Government he has no moral standing to even enter…may he go to his satanic maker soon. I’d enjoy the laugh…

  • ericj

    I can’t believe I voted for this freegin’ idiot. I can assure you it won’t happen again…. unless he’s running for “idiot of the year” but then… he won’t need my vote for that one… it’d be a runaway.

  • A Taxpayer

    I voted for Romney/Ryan. But, I must admit that Mr. Ryan has proved to be one huge disappointment ever since. I would never consider voting for him to be president nor do I ever want him to become House Speaker. He supports billions in spending on boondoogles, including a fortune on himself, his staff and the rest of the Congress, but wants to shaft members of the military and their families. He is the worst kind of politician. He is sickening. He votes for trillions in debts, but all he can up with is cutting compensation of those who make a fraction of his congressional salary. Resign Mr. Ryan.

    • el Morte

      Resign? Now? He’s just getting to the big time $$.

    • NepotismIsDomesticTerrorism

      “He supports billions in spending on boondoogles, including a fortune on himself, his staff and the rest of the Congress, but wants to shaft members of the military and their families.”

      Paul Ryan is a disciple of Ayn Rand. Ryan diddles himself daily while reading Atlas Thugs. Ryan’s Me-First, Me-Last, Me-Always attitude surprises you? Ryan lives for greed and to stick it to blue-collar and middle-class America. And then Ryan runs to his offshore bank accounts to see how much he’s won this week from Charlie and Dave Koch.

    • candymanal

      That is why, Romney/Ryan, lost.
      There was basically, no difference, between them and Obummer.
      Hopefully, next election, we’ll have a clear choice, on the ballot.
      No more Democrat or Democrat-lite

    • blfdjlj

      Military pensions should be cut. The cuts would mostly impact people who are already working other jobs.

      • Layla

        There are many retired military who don’t have other jobs. Let’s cut federal employee pay and retirement as well, then. Most Members of Congress become lobbyists when they retire. Eliminate their retirement.

  • Hitched

    The forces of today’s liberalism are the same forces that impelled its marxist, socialist, and communist ancestors.

  • pitch1934

    The repubs love their warriors, but forget them when they come home.

  • candymanal

    In other words, take it away from those who served faithfully and honorably, then, kick then to the curb.
    Paul and his cohorts, need to be recalled.
    Keep the USA’s promise to China and the illegals. But, take it from those who served.
    Liberal progressive, mindset.

  • Layla

    I think it’s time we stopped hiring new federal employees and Congressional staff and reduced their numbers as well. And I am very glad that Mr. Ryan has exposed himself to the voters.

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