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April 15, 2014

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Congress clears bill ending military pension cuts

WASHINGTON — Congress has sent President Barack Obama legislation restoring full cost-of-living pension increases for younger military retirees, a capitulation to veterans groups that opposed a modest cut when it was enacted late last year.

The 95-3 Senate vote came one day after the House approved the bill, 326-90.

That completed a swift retreat for lawmakers after veterans groups and their allies argued strenuously that a change Congress approved in December broke a bargain with the men and women who fight the nation's wars.

The bill also underscored the difficulty that lawmakers face when they try to restrain the growth of benefit programs.

The measure in December called for holding cost-of-living increases for veterans under age 62 to 1 percentage point below inflation.

Obama is expected to sign the bill.

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