Raising the Cost-of-Living Compensation Rates for Veterans and Their Survivors (S. 189)
Do you support or oppose this bill?
What is S. 189?
(Updated October 23, 2021)
This bill was enacted on October 8, 2021
This bill — the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2021 — would direct the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) to increase the rates of compensation for several areas of veterans’ living expenses. As of December 1, 2021, the rates of veterans’ disability compensation, additional compensation for dependents, the clothing allowance for certain disabled veterans, and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children would be increased. Each of these increases would be based on the percentage used to increase Social Security benefits based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI), which gauges inflation.
Argument in favor
While it doesn’t establish automatic cost-of-living increases, this bipartisan bill does provide a boost to the benefits received by veterans and their families for another year.
There’s no need to increase cost-of-living adjustments for veterans’ benefits based on the percentage used to boost Social Security benefits.
Veterans and their survivors; the VA.
Cost of S. 189
The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would increase spending by about $3.7 billion in FY2022 with a 3.8% COLA in effect. This increase would have no budgetary impact in terms of the deficit because the CBO assumes a COLA will be implemented each year.
In-Depth: Sen. John Thune (R-SD) introduced this legislation to increase veterans’ compensation and other benefits in line with the cost-of-living adjustment used for Social Security benefits to account for inflation:
“I’m grateful the Senate passed our bipartisan bill to provide our veterans with the certainty they deserve for the following year. I will continue to work with Sen. Schatz, the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and Veterans Service Organizations to make this annual exercise automatic. This bill brings us one step closer to achieving that goal.”
Original cosponsor Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) added:
“There’s no reason that we shouldn’t guarantee an annual cost-of-living adjustment for our nation’s veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country. Our bill is now one step closer to becoming law which means our veterans will soon get the COLA benefit increase they deserve.”
Thune and Schatz have also teamed up to introduce legislation that would make the annual COLA for veterans’ benefits automatic, like it is for Social Security. Congress’s annual approval of the veterans’ COLA is often overwhelmingly bipartisan, and last year’s edition of the bill passed both chambers on voice votes.
Sponsoring Sen. John Thune (R-SD) Press Release (Senate Passage)
Sponsoring Sen. John Thune (R-SD) Press Release (Automatic Increase Bill)
Military Benefits (Context)
Summary by Eric Revell(Photo Credit: The U.S. Army via Flickr / Public Domain)
USPS' Operation Santa: Will You Be a Secret Santa for a Child in Need?How it Works The United States Postal Service (USPS) is once again getting in the holiday spirit with its Operation Santa Families
San Francisco Authorizes Police To Use Killer Robots – Should More Cities Do the Same?What’s the story? The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) will allow its law enforcement robots to use deadly force on people Criminal Justice Reform
IT: 🏛️ Senate passes a bill protecting same-sex and interracial marriage, and... Is the U.S. doing enough to assist Iran?Welcome to Wednesday, November 30th, cyborgs and cybernetics... The Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation that
Senate Passes Bill Protecting Same-Sex and Interracial Marriage - Should the House?What's the story? The Senate on Tuesday passed the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation that would protect same-sex and Families