Senate Democrats drove a spike through Republican attempts to save veteran’s benefits by closing a welfare loophole for illegals when they blocked the vote on the amendment.
The budget deal, brokered by Patty Murray and Paul Ryan, will cut military benefits by $6 billion over ten years, which is why republicans introduced the amendment.
The amendment in question would close a loophole that allows illegals to obtain tax credits for their children even though they don’t have Social Security numbers. They instead file using a Tax Identification Number and the result is roughly $4.2 billion in credits being given to illegals, an amount that would just about save the veteran’s benefits.
Jeff Sessions (R- Ala) said that “Removing this unbalanced treatment of our military retirees ought to be one of the key actions we should take before this legislation moves forward. In fact, greater savings than this can be achieved by passing a legislative fix recommended by the Inspector General of the U.S. Treasury that would stop the IRS from improperly providing tax credits to illegal aliens.”
The Inspector General had found the loophole in 2011 and republicans have been trying to close it ever since, however Senate Democrats have blocked the measure every time. This latest vote was down party lines and failed with a 54-46 majority. Kay Hagen, a democrat from North Carolina was the only one to cross the line and vote with republicans.
“Today, Reid and his majority quashed the ability of any Senator to offers amendments to the spending deal that emerged from the House. They voted to undermine their own ability as Senators to offer amendments and do legislative work in the clear light of day,” Sessions said about the move.
Sessions views it as democrats voting to block the start of improving the “tax and spend” ideology congress has had for decades, keeping their hand-outs in place rather than making responsible cuts. Additionally he accused the democrats of choosing illegal immigrants over veteran’s benefits and said that none of their ideas for retaining the benefits have even been considered by the opposing party.
Patty Murray used the excuse that too many amendments would jeopardize the “carefully crafted” bill, adding that since it’s only a 2 year deal they’ll have plenty of time to try to work together and reach and agreement before the next budget talks happen.