Last December, Congress passed the ridiculous Ryan-Murray budget deal designed to grow government and set a permanent precedent to do away with the sequester. The only real spending offsets in the entire bill were cuts to military pensions of those already in the service. This was not some unforeseen consequence of the bill. It was written in plain language. We were one of the first to point it out before the bill came to the floor of the House and Senate.
Members who supported the bill knew about the cuts and decided to vote for it anyway. They should have had the moxie to stand behind their premeditated act.
Instead, in classic D.C. chicanery, these same members turned around and immediately decried the pension cuts, vowing to reinstate the funding as soon as possible. They have the temerity to act as if this is some sort of natural disaster and they are the rescue workers coming to save the day.
Now, these same cowardly ‘leaders’ are purposely placing conservatives in a tough position – both in the House and in the Senate.
In the House, the same leaders who passed Ryan-Murray are contemplating using the debt ceiling bill to reinstate the funding for cuts to military pensions. This will place conservatives in a position where they have to choose between raising the debt ceiling or voting against military pensions, even though they never supported the ridiculous idea in the first place!
We already know that the debt ceiling fight was over before it ever commenced. Rather than embracing this leverage point, Republican publicly trembled by the very mention of it. If they are hell-bent on raising the debt ceiling, they should be man enough to pass a stand-alone bill and own the growth of government without using our veterans as political human shields.
The same dynamic is unfolding in the Senate. Later this evening, the Senate will vote on cloture to proceed with S. 1963, sponsored by Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), which would reinstate the $6 billion in cuts to military pensions. Once debate proceeds, this bill will likely turn into a vehicle to pass another extension of super-long-term unemployment benefits.
This is yet one more reason why we need to replace leadership in both parties. They simply have no courage. Sadly, they are exhibiting their cowardly acts by hiding behind some of the most courageous people in the world.