Ayotte Proposes Savings to Pay for Unemployment Benefits Extension, Repeal Military Pension Cuts
Amendment pays for temporary three-month extension of long-term unemployment benefits, replaces military retiree benefits cuts
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today introduced an amendment to unemployment benefits legislation pending in the Senate that would pay for a three-month extension of temporary long-term unemployment benefits and repeal the unfair Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) reduction for military retirees - including disabled military retirees - that was included in the recent budget agreement. Ayotte, who voted earlier today to begin debate on extending unemployment benefits, had expressed concerns that the bill as written is not paid for and would add $6.4 billion to the national debt over the next 10 years.
"We can pay for a temporary long-term unemployment benefit extension and repeal unfair military retiree benefit cuts without adding to our country's $17 trillion debt. I've put forward a common sense proposal that would save billions by stopping illegal immigrants from claiming the additional child tax credit. If Senate Democrats allow a vote on my amendment, we'd have a solution that could immediately deliver temporary help to those looking for work, prevent military retirement benefit cuts, and reduce the deficit."
Ayotte's amendment to The Unemployment Insurance Extension Act (S. 1845) would repeal and replace the $6.3 billion in military retiree benefits cuts and pay for a three-month extension of unemployment benefits by stopping a scheme that currently allow illegal immigrants to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit - which currently costs taxpayers billions. In just one example, according to a 2012 news report, an undocumented worker in Indiana admitted that his address was used to file tax returns by four other undocumented workers, who fraudulently claimed 20 children in total - resulting in tax refunds totaling nearly $30,000. Ayotte's amendment would make a simple fix to the U.S. tax code to require filers to have Social Security Numbers in order to qualify for the Additional Child Tax Credit, which the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates would save approximately $20 billion over 10 years.
During consideration of the budget agreement in December, Ayotte fought hard against a provision in the legislation that unfairly targeted military retirees by requiring a one percent annual reduction in their cost of living allowance. Her amendment is similar to the Keeping Our Promise to Our Military Heroes Act (S. 1869), a stand-alone bill she introduced in December following passage of the budget deal.
Click here for a one-page summary of Senator Ayotte's amendment.