Congress Finally Passes COLA For Vets - Now Headed to the President

It seems like all the panicked talk about veterans losing their annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) this year was for naught.

Early this week the Senate took a voice vote and passed HR 4114: Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2012 which should take effect on Dec. 1 of this year. This bill was passed by the House back in early July, and put aside by the Senate for unknown reasons in September.

When HR 4114 was put aside, the Veterans' Administration warned that if the bill was not passed by November 13, the VA would not be able to update their payroll system in time to have the updated payouts roll out in January. The VA later softened their statement that an across-the-board increase could come as late as early December and still make it out on time. Surprisingly, however, Congress has beaten that deadline by about a month!

In order to avoid leaving yearly COLA increases to political whims, Jon Runyan, R-N.J, a member of the House of Representatives, has proposed HR 4142: American Heroes COLA Act; a bill that would provide a cost-of-living adjustment whenever Social Security increases, without needing additional Congressional approval. While HR 4142 has been sent to committee, it has yet to be introduced to either the full House or Senate, and seems unlikely to pass before the current session of Congress ends.

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