Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed S. 3023, the Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2008, which includes a provision authored by Senator John Thune that would make the annual cost of living adjustment, or COLA, for disabled veterans automatic and permanent. Under current law, Congress must vote to approve an annual COLA each year.

"Veterans' benefits should not be subject to the political whims of Congress. This is not how we should be treating those who have given so much for the defense of our country," said Thune. "This measure gives our disabled veterans peace of mind in knowing that their benefits will maintain their purchasing power in the face of inflation."

The COLA is usually enacted each year, and the COLA is already assumed in Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) baseline. This means the Thune measure would essentially be budget neutral.

Using the CBO's analysis for the Fiscal Year 2008 COLA increase, the annualized cost for this amendment would be about $500 million in subsequent years.

S. 3023 must now be passed by the House of Representatives before it can be sent to the President for his consideration.