Seth Moulton, the Salem Democrat challenging Congressman John Tierney in the 2014 Democratic primary race for the Massachusetts 6th District House seat, is calling out the congressman for voting for a budget that would cut veterans' retirement benefits.
Last month, Tierney voted in favor of a compromise budget, and that budget includes cutting $6 billion cost-of-living adjustment for retired veterans over the course of 10 years.
"Did Congressman Tierney not read the bill or did he knowingly vote in favor of leaving our veterans behind?" Moulton asked. "Having served in the Marines for five years, including four tours of duty to Iraq, I’m personally offended by his vote."
Moulton, 34, served in the Marines for four tours in Iraq in the course of five years, leading a platoon in the First Marine Division which entered Baghdad in 2003, and then working with Iraqi security. Later he returned to Iraq to serve as special assistant to Gen. David Petraeus.
"We all have to make sacrifices to move this country out of the budget problems that Congress has created, but we should never start on the backs of a small minority who has already sacrificed more than most," Moulton said.
The vote was about passing a budget with compromise, Tierney's office said, to avoid another government shutdown.“It is shocking that Mr. Moulton would be ‘personally offended’ by Congressman Tierney’s vote in support of a bipartisan budget agreement that averted another government shutdown and reduced the deep sequester cuts that have been hurting our children, families, communities and military," Tierney spokesman Daniel Rubin said. "Mr. Moulton’s opposition to the bipartisan budget agreement means he would have voted to hurt Massachusetts residents and continue the unacceptable gridlock and partisanship."
The budget agreement passed with more than 330 votes in the House, and every member of the Massachusetts delegation, along with Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, voted in favor of it.
"Congressman Tierney has long been a champion of veterans and their families," Rubin said. "They know of his leadership in increasing health benefits for veterans, modernizing the G.I. bill – especially as it benefits National Guard and Reservists – opening and expanding health clinics locally, protecting veterans against foreclosures and much more. The Congressman’s constituent services also consistently get high praise from veterans."