Udall Pushes to Undo Cut to Military Retirees’ COLA


  • Amendment filed to unemployment insurance legislation would protect benefits, close corporate tax loophole


WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall is supporting an amendment to emergency unemployment legislation to protect military retirees from changes to cost of living adjustments (COLA) that were included in a bipartisan budget agreement.


The amendment mirrors legislation Udall helped introduce in December, the Military Retirement Restoration Act, which would reverse the 1 percent reduction in the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) for working-age military retirees. 


“The budget agreement was important to New Mexico because it replaced harmful sequestration cuts with smarter alternatives that will help our small businesses expand, create jobs and support our military, but I was very disappointed that a reduction in the COLA for some military retirees was part of the measure,” Udall said. “I’ve been working to reverse this cut since the budget deal was announced and will continue pushing until a fix is made. I’ve also been hearing from New Mexico military retirees and their families about the importance of these benefits, and I will continue working on their behalf to restore them.”


Currently, companies that are incorporated offshore but managed and controlled from the United States can claim foreign status, which helps them avoid paying U.S. taxes. The Military Retirement Restoration Act would eliminate the tax loophole that allows those corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.


“Finding a solution to the budget impasse required many tough choices, but keeping our military strong and economy healthy should not fall on the backs of military retirees when multi-billion dollar companies are taking advantage of offshore tax havens and other costly loopholes that are not available to middle class families,” Udall said.


The amendment was filed by Sen. Jean Shaheen, D-NH, along with 12 other senators including Udall.