WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding the Senate's passage of S. 2617, the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2008, last night by unanimous consent.
"I commend my colleagues for passing the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2008. Many veterans and their survivors count on these monthly payments to get by, and in these hard times, we must not allow rising costs to eat away at their spending power. For veterans and their survivors who rely on their compensation, including nearly 18,000 served by VA's regional office in my home state of Hawaii, this COLA is the least we can do," said Akaka.
S. 2617, introduced by Senator Akaka, will adjust veterans' compensation rates to keep pace with inflation, effective December 1, 2008. According to recent data provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, this increase will go to 2.8 million veterans and over 300,000 surviving spouses receiving dependency and indemnity compensation.
The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for their consideration. While this year's cost-of-living increase has yet to be determined, the Congressional Budget Office has projected a 2.8 percent increase. Last year's increase was 2.3 percent.