Hawaii Delegation Opposes Cuts To Veterans Benefits

Hawaii's congressional delegation is in the islands this week, and they are talking about sequestration.

Unless Congress acts, deep cuts to the federal budget — especially defense spending — will take effect next month.

Sen. Mazie Hirono took to the airwaves this week to speak about the "hit" Hawaii would take from the automatic across the board budget cuts set to kick in on March 1. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard made much the same argument in a Civil Beat interview.

Now, in a new development, AARP Hawaii is warning about one budget proposal it says would actually hurt military veterans, including an estimated 117,000 living in Hawaii.

The proposal would change the way the cost-of-living adjustment is calculated for veterans compensation and Social Security. Over time, AARP says it would dramatically reduce the benefits veterans receive. Locally, the change could cost vets in Hawaii as much as $101.6 million over a 10-year period.

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