VA Cost of Living Increase Blocked in the Senate

Unknown Senator blocks bill; costing disabled veterans up to $500 next year


After passing the House of Representatives, the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) increase for VA benefits was blocked in the Senate by an unknown Senator, according to Senate staffers who alerted Bergmann & Moore.

The Veterans COLA affects a number of key benefits for veterans: disability compensation, pension as well as survivor benefits. The uncontroversial bill adjusts VA benefits to keep up with inflation and easily passes Congress each year.

Until now.

Paul Sullivan, a Gulf War veteran and Director of Veterans Outreach for Bergmann & Moore, LLC, a law firm concentrating on VA disability law, said, “This secret hold is unconscionable: it will take up to $500 next year out of the wallets of disabled veterans and their families: money they need to pay their rent and put food on the table for their children.”

According to a statement this afternoon from Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, blocking the bill will reduce benefits starting in January for 3.9 million veterans and their survivors.

“This is stunning,” said Senator Murray. “Particularly because we still don’t have any indication why someone would block a cost-of-living adjustment for veterans and their surviving spouses, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet. This adjustment for our disabled veterans is hard earned and well deserved. My hope is that whichever Senator has decided to hold up this bill will at least come forward to own up to it. That way we can move forward to overcome their oppositions and get our veterans the support they need.”

Bergmann & Moore’s VetsBlog will continue to update this as we learn more.

Update: 1:13 PM. Houston Chronicle just ran an article on this.

Update: 2:00 PM. The Washington Post also ran a story on this.

Update: Friday, 9/28. Daily Beast reports the hold has been lifted.

Bergmann & Moore, LLC, is based in the Washington, DC metro area, concentrates only on VA disability benefits law.  We have helped thousands of Veterans and their families obtain the VA benefits they are entitled to receive.  Bergmann & Moore offers a free legal consultation concerning VA disability claims.  We gladly welcome all types of claims, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), military sexual trauma (MST), individual unemployability (IU), and appeals.

0 Response

  1. John

    Didn’t you know? Veterans are part of the moocher class, that 47% who expect something from government! Never mind that many Veterans have already given an arm (or two) and a leg (or two) to defend and protect the other 53% that the Republicans really care about….

  2. P. Parquette

    Please be fair and point out that Senator Murray, as Chairman of that committee, has identified the blocking Senator as a R E P U B L I C A N. The blocking vote is from a R E P U B L I C A N Senator. Vets and supporters of vets should contact Republican Senators and their party leaders and demand an accounting for this blockage. Our vets have made their sacrifices; damn anyone who stands in the way of them receiving WHAT WE AS A COUNTRY OWE THEM.

  3. jcmso3cd

    How does a Senator remain anonymous blocking legislation in a representative government? Senate Rules Have to change in more than one way.. How do voters know who to vote for when they don’t know what their representative is doing or voting for? The Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee knows and is collaborating if she does not expose this self serving creep as are all the other members of this Senate Committee. My guess is Johnny Isakson.

  4. Pingback : gop betrays veterans … again « hip is everything

  5. George Kremer

    Does anyone have a .pdf link to this bill so that I can read it? I’m wondering if there is some other bill attached or amendment.

  6. Pingback : VA Cost of Living Increase Blocked in the Senate by “unknown” Senator « Overseas Civilian Contractors

  7. Emily Pike


  8. Pingback : GOP “Mystery Senator” Blocks Veterans’ Cost Of Living Increase « Alan Colmes' Liberaland

  9. Scott

    It’s always amazed me that most veterans vote Republican as they’re the one’s that have been cutting and blocking veterans benefits for along time. Yea, wear the flag on your lapel and kick the guy in front of you out of the way to “Support the troops”, but stab them in the back when they’re not looking. Typical. If people would be MORE informed and check the Senate and House voting records my point will be proven. What a dirt bag as I’m sure he isn’t a vet. We’re at an all time low of veterans in the Congress and I think if we had more veterans in there this s–t wouldn’t be happening. Why don’t we ask the senators why they DON’T have to use the social security system they’re so eager to cut. Why is it they have the best medical health care 100% for life for them and their families after serving only l day in office. How can a Senator block a bill without a public record of who he is???????

  10. Robin Smith-Lutz

    I don’t buy it. They know exactly who it is. They need to come clean. For all we know it was not even voted on or it was a dem. This is election year bs…sad….using Disabled Veterans and their families as pawns…..my hubby is 100% disabled so we are one of them.

  11. Larz Neilson

    This leaves the Senate Republicans with a nice choice. As long as this senator remains anonymous, the stain of this block will taint them all. There is but one way to cleanse the spread of the goo, and that is to identify the senator who did this in such a cowardly fashion. Do any of them have the courage to stand up against this?

  12. Ron Myrick

    I wasn’t aware the Republicans controlled the Senate. Since the Democrats control the Senate, How can a single Republican senator block the passage of a bill? Harry Reid and his Democrat cronies never had any problem passing any bill they wanted passed or blocked any bill they wanted blocked. This is just another attempt to spread lies. If the Senate wanted this bill passed it would have been passed.

  13. WDRussell

    Some of those elderly Vets are the soldiers who kept this nation from speaking German.
    Maybe the wackos hate them for that, also.

  14. waterlilly1997

    Reply to Ron, remember the republicans changed the rules. It’s no longer the majority that wins but it’s closer to 60 I think so many democratic senate bills die.

  15. Pingback : VA Cost of Living Increase Blocked in the Senate by “unknown” Senator « Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

  16. navyvetsue

    The contractor, also veteran, raises many legal questions. I raised a few in a former life. Trust me. At this budgetary time, the contractor issue would suck up funds needed to support veterans matters. $$$ is a reason for jumping ship and letting krs take advantage of your training. Oops, this matter was raised at a point in former life preceding the aforementioned FL. Is a desirable outcome of military training to provide military personnel with skills, knowledge that they can take to the private sector? This question has many answers, too. Put it in context of today’s environment.

  17. MiMiFlo

    My guess is either Rand Paul or Mitch McConnell from KY. Rand Paul is an extremist who cares for no one except his own ego and extreme ideology. And Mitch McConnell stated priority the past 2 yrs has been to make Obama a 1 term president at the cost of the American people. Have they always been able to do secret voting? That is a unbelievable. The American people have a right to know. So if the Republican Senator who voted against this doesn’t have the guts to step forward, then we must assume it could be either of them and vote against all of them when they come up for re-election. A disgrace!!!!!!

  18. Tim Hooey

    Every one of them should stand up for what they done or said,unless well, maybe they want to be on dancing with the stars too!!


  19. If one digs deep enough the culprit will be named and he should be kicked to the curb along with all the Republicans who have been obstructing everything President Obama has tried to do these last four years. This person should be made to stand in front of all the veterans and tell them why he did such a dispicable thing! I don’t care if “it” is or is not a republican…but par for the course….probably is…Bet this fella never served either….

  20. Walter Thompson

    All Veterans and active duty personnel should vote against all Republican Senators in the upcoming election. Maybe next time they won’t be such cowards.

  21. Nam Jarhead

    what the hell !!! They can give themselves a raise when ever they want that B.S. this country is going down hill fast!!!!all for them!!! that all it is!

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