Murkowski Co-Sponsors Bill to Repeal 2016 Veterans Benefits Cuts

Senator Joins Republican Colleagues in Proposing Fix to Two Pressing Problems

Senator Lisa Murkowski today joined seven of her Senate Republican colleagues in introducing S.1931, the Responsible Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2014.  This legislation would fully pay for an extension of unemployment insurance benefits for three months and repeals recent cuts in the military retiree cost-of-living adjustment included in December's budget agreement – without adding to the nation’s deficit. 

“This bill is a rational, reasonable proposal to help jobless Americans that combines ideas from across the aisle to address key American concerns.  This cannot be called Republican proposal: it incorporates what the President has asked for, uses funding sources proposed by Democrats, extends long-term unemployment insurance for three months and includes needed reforms to our long term jobless policies.” Murkowski said. “It does all this and keeps our promise to our veterans to fix the cost-of-living cut enacted by the budget deal without adding a dime to the deficit.  The fact that we were not able to get a vote on this bill suggests that the Senate Majority Leader is more focused on political messaging than real-world solutions.”

(Senator Murkowski and her Republican colleagues explain their proposal to restore veterans benefits and extend unemployment benefits – Click to watch.)

The bill is based on a package that Murkowski and these seven Republicans filed earlier this week (above) as a way to pay for extending unemployment benefits during consideration of a standalone bill that would have extended unemployment benefits for three months. Following the Senate Majority’s rejection of that alternative, the Senators introduced the legislation as a stand-alone bill. 

Additional details of the Responsible Unemployment Compensation Act of 2014: 

  • Repeals military retirement cost-of-living reduction included in December's budget agreement. 
  • Fully offsets the three-month extension by spreading savings proposed by the Majority across the current 10-year budget window. This legislation exempts Medicare providers from further cuts and includes specific language to ensure that sequestration of defense resources is not increased. 
  • Reduces weeks of eligibility for emergency unemployment tiers 1 and 2, which reduces total state and federal unemployment from 73 weeks to 57 weeks. 
  • Eliminates overlapping payments for unemployment insurance benefits and Social Security disability benefits.

Also introducing this legislation with Senator Murkowski were Senators Dean Heller (R-NV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Rob Portman (R-OH), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Dan Coats (R-IN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and John Hoeven (R-ND)