Oklahoma Rep. James Lankford offers fix for budget deal's hit to veterans

Oklahoma Rep. James Lankford said he and other supporters of a recent budget deal were facing a tough choice but now have time to reverse cuts to some military pensions.
by Chris Casteel Published: December 20, 2013

— Amid an uproar over future cuts to some military pensions in the recent budget deal, Rep. James Lankford proposed legislation on Thursday to reverse the change.

Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, said the provision, which has angered veterans groups and many lawmakers who opposed the deal, “never should have been in there in the first place.”

Under the complicated provision, military retirees of working age would not get their full annual cost-of-living adjustment beginning in 2016. Instead, they would get the increase with 1 percent deducted. Then, when they turned 62, their retirement pay would be adjusted as if they had received the increase, and they would get the full cost-of-living increase after that.

The pension change was estimated to save $6 billion over 10 years and made no exception for disabled veterans.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, of Tulsa, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, cited the provision in his opposition to the budget deal and said he would work to overturn it.

Republican senators on Thursday tried unsuccessfully to insert a “fix” into the defense bill.

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
+ show more

Trending Now


  1. 1
    10 Most Popular Wedding 'First Dance' Songs
  2. 2
    Psychologists Studied the Most Uptight States in America, and Found a Striking Pattern
  3. 3
    Facebook Post Saves Drowning Teen
  4. 4
    Saturday's front page of the New York Times sports section is simple: LeBron James and transactions
  5. 5
    The 19th-century health scare that told women to worry about "bicycle face"
+ show more