New Budget Cuts $6 Billion From Veterans Pensions - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

New Budget Cuts $6 Billion From Veterans Pensions

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MISSOULA -

The new bipartisan budget bill signed Thursday by President Obama carries with it a heavy burden for veterans.

The budget calls for $6 billion in cuts to retired veterans pensions-- cuts that are causing outrage from the veterans community.

"Promises were made to these folks, promises were made to me. The government was just not keeping them and this was a big one," said American Legion Membership Chairman and retired Marine Elmer Palmer.

The billions of dollars in cuts would affect working-age military retirees.

The cuts would apply to all veterans who served the 20-year requirement needed to receive a pension.

Veterans affected would see nearly a 20% reduction in their pension before the age of 62.

Veterans advocates say the cuts could set a dangerous precedent for budget negotiations in the future.

"Setting the precedent of cutting the veterans budget I think is dangerous and it worries me because if you can cut on something like this, where will the next cut be?" said Dan Gallagher, with American Legion Post 101.

Palmer estimates about one-fifth of the 108,000 veterans in Montana are retirees.

Republican Congressman Steve Daines introduced a bill today that would offset the cuts and restore retirement payments.

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