In a disgraceful move by Senate Democrats, a last-ditch effort by Republicans to restore military pensions was blocked. The money to restore the pensions would have not even needed to come from a budget because it would be obtained from denying tax credits to undocumented immigrants, but Senate Majority leader Harry Reid led the charge to thwart the plan. Pensions to retired and disabled military veterans were cut last month as part of a budget plan.
Republicans posed adding an amendment to a bill on long-term unemployment benefits that would require anyone claiming a Child Tax Credit to provide their Social Security number, which would effectively make illegal immigrants ineligible for the credit. However, the amendment failed by a 42-54 vote and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) declared it nothing more than “partisan politics” that didn’t address any real issues.
“If you are one of the 1.3 million people in this country—222,000 in my state—whose house is burning down because they’re going to lose the safety net of $300 a week to feed their families, to take care of their kids, to heat their homes, and my colleague talks about letters [SSN]?” she asked. “Talk about fiddling while Rome burns.”
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who led the push for the amendment, said he was disappointed in the decision. “It’s a sad day when a common-sense amendment to responsibly pay for legislation that helps struggling Americans, repeals unfair military retirement benefits and reduces the deficit can’t even get a vote in the Senate,” he said in a statement. “I don’t see what the issue is there, unless you’re worried that it’s going to pass because it just makes too much sense.”