In the two-year, $2 trillion budget deal that cleared the Senate last week, one item, worth just one-sixth of 1 percent of that total, was the reason many senators said they voted against it.
That item would produce some $6 billion in savings by shaving a percentage point off annual cost-of-living adjustments, and it would apply only to military pensions. Not all military pensions — just the retirement paid to veterans younger than 62.
Three members of Oklahoma’s House delegation voted for a budget bill backed by both President Obama, his Democratic allies and a big majority of the chamber's Republicans.
The 332-94 vote sends the measure to the Senate, where Republicans are more skeptical. But the Democratic-led chamber appears sure to adopt the measure next week and send it to Obama for his signature.
U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK4) says House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) managed to find a budget compromise that will restore regular order.
Suzette Grillot's interview with Col. Lawrence Wilkerson
As Congress tries to avoid a looming set of sharp, across-the-board spending cuts that would strike the Pentagon and domestic agencies in just two weeks, a former State Department official says the Department of Defense could avoid “clumsy” automatic cuts by starting with personnel.
“In World War II, we had fewer flag and general officers than we do now,” said retired U.S. Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson. “Wow. People are anywhere from 50-60 percent, depending on whose records and analysis, of the DoD budget. They are so expensive.”
Wilkerson served as former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff from 2002-2005.