Mary Landrieu Consciously Voted To Stick It To Veterans Yesterday

This probably won’t help her re-election effort, though next week you can be sure she’ll begin talking about bringing a bill to restore that funding…

Senate Republicans were unable to stop military pension cuts when Senate Democrats blocked a vote on an amendment to prevent the cuts by closing a welfare loophole for illegal immigrants Tuesday evening.

The two-year budget deal brokered by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, would cut military pensions by $6 billion over ten years, leaving some Senate Republicans scrambling to stop the cuts.

“Removing this unbalanced treatment of our military retirees ought to be one of the key actions we should take before this legislation moves forward. In fact, greater savings than this can be achieved by passing a legislative fix recommended by the Inspector General of the U.S. Treasury that would stop the IRS from improperly providing tax credits to illegal aliens,” Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions said Monday, announcing his co-sponsorship of Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker’s amendment to restore the military retirement benefits Monday.

Knocking illegal immigrants off welfare they’re not supposed to get would have saved the federal government $4.2 billion, which would have covered all but $1.8 billion of the military pension cuts. To cover that $1.8 billion, just go into the Wastebook Sen. Tom Coburn put out this week and pick out six percent of the expenditures in there  – and put a stop to them.

But the vote to kill Wicker’s amendment was defeated on a more-or-less party-line basis. It failed 54-46, with one Democrat – Kay Hagan of North Carolina – flipping over.

Mary Landrieu didn’t flip over. Mary Landrieu voted to cut pensions for military veterans by $6 billion when she had a specific opportunity to restore those cuts by denying welfare benefits to people who are not American citizens and legally aren’t supposed to be here in the first place.

You could make the argument that Bill Cassidy and three other Republican congressmen from Louisiana also voted to cut military pensions. Except not only didn’t they get to vote on an amendment that would have specifically fixed that problem, at the time they were asked to vote on the budget bill it’s not clear they had the specifics of what they were voting on.

That’s not to excuse or forgive what looks like a bad vote. But does anybody think Cassidy would have voted with Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer to consciously choose benefits for illegal immigrants over benefits for military veterans were he in the Senate?

Because that’s what Mary Landrieu did yesterday.

She’d like your vote for re-election next November.



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