Ayotte Statement On Democrats Preventing Vote On Her Amendment To Repeal Military Retirement Cuts, Extend Temporary Unemployment Benefits, Reduce Deficit
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) released the following statement tonight after Senate Democrats blocked her amendment to repeal unfair cuts to military retirement benefits, pay for an extension of temporary long-term unemployment befits, and reduce the deficit (watch video of Senator Ayotte debating issue on Senate floor):
“I voted to begin debate on this legislation hopeful that there would be a full amendment process for both parties. The Senate should be voting on amendments from both parties, and I’m disappointed that after voting in good faith to have this debate, the Senate Majority Leader is blocking all Republican amendments – including mine.
“It’s a sad day when a commonsense 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.”
Ayotte’s amendment to the Unemployment Insurance Extension Act (S. 1845) would repeal the $6.3 billion cut in military retiree benefits and pay for a three-month extension of unemployment benefits by stopping a scheme that currently allows illegal immigrants to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit – which currently costs taxpayers billions. Her amendment does nothing to prevent those who are legally authorized to work in this country from being able to receive this credit.
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 (which she opposed).
Click here for a one-page summary of Senator Ayotte’s amendment.