The House passed the measure Tuesday by a 326-90 vote margin. Previously, House Republicans had considered tying the pension proposal to an extension of the debt ceiling. But after House Speaker John Boehner opted to move forward with a clean debt ceiling bill, the chamber passed the pension bill separately.
Hospitals unsuccessfully sought to thwart the extension of the sequestration cuts. “Medicare is meant to assure seniors access to needed medical care, not serve as a piggybank for other programs,” according to a letter sent to legislators from the American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals and seven other organizations. “It is bad policy to further extend Medicare sequester cuts that could undermine care for seniors.”
Just weeks ago, Congress passed legislation that cut the cost-of-living adjustment for veterans under the age of 62 by 1%—a total reduction of $6 billion. But cutting benefits for veterans is always politically perilous and this week's votes reverse that decision.
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