Murray was quick to distance herself from the cuts, pushing legislation that would reverse the cuts for disabled veterans and those receiving survivors’ benefits. Ryan supported the latter move, but has held fast to his belief that the cuts are just the first step in a much longer, and necessary, process of overhauling the military pension system as a whole, noting that payments to retirees rose nearly 50 percent between fiscal 2002 and fiscal 2012.
Ryan has noted that he is open to other options—as long as they are paid for and deal with the larger issue of a ballooning system. Congress formed a commission in 2012 that will release its recommendations for a more complete overhaul in early 2015.
“I stand behind the need for reform.… For me, there’s simply no choice between responsible reforms of military compensation and making what our military leadership has called ‘disproportionate cuts to military readiness and modernization.’ Every time we kick the can down the road, we put our troops’ combat readiness at risk,” Ryan wrote in a USA Today op-ed. “This agreement put forward one reform option, and I invite others to do the same.”