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Glad to hear:

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz helped introduce legislation Tuesday to safeguard military retirees from changes in cost of living adjustments (COLA) in the bipartisan budget agreement.

The proposal would be fully-paid for by eliminating a corporate tax loophole for companies that use offshore tax havens to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

“But we can work together to make it better and I believe this is one important way to do so,” he said. “The legislation we’re working to pass would preserve military retiree benefits and pay for it by closing an offshore tax haven loophole that some companies are using to avoid paying U.S. taxes.”

Currently, companies that are incorporated offshore but managed and controlled from the United States can claim foreign status which helps them avoid paying U.S. taxes.

Schatz’s Military Retirement Restoration Act would replace the estimated $6 billion in expected savings from military retiree cost of living adjustments with an estimated $6.6 billion raised by eliminating a this tax loophole for offshore corporations. - Hawaii 24/7, 12/17/13

The Military Retirement Restoration Act has been sponsored by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D. NH) and co-sponsored by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Mark Warner (D-VA), Tom Udall (D-NM), Al Franken (D-MN), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Mark Begich (D-AK), Mark Udall (D-CO), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

I'm happy to see something done about this.  In other Schatz/military related news:

Over the summer, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) inserted an amendment [PDF] into the National Defense Authorization Act requiring bases to consider compact, infill development that preserves land and considers life-cycle costs in their master planning. The plans should also consider growth boundaries, expand transit options, and create connections to off-base transit systems.

The House passed the bill on Thursday with the amendment included.

Last month, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced an almost-identical amendment [PDF] into the Senate version of the NDAA. Schatz’s amendment removes Blumenauer’s language about “healthy communities with a focus on walking, running and biking infrastructure, pedestrian and cycling plans, and community green and garden space” — strange, because Schatz is also a solid advocate for walking and biking. It also removes Blumenauer’s language about vertical building and energy and water conservation.

Perhaps those changes are what it took to get Republican Johnny Isakson of Georgia to co-sponsor the measure. The core requirements to build in a more compact way, with transit, are preserved.

“My amendment will provide smarter and more sustainable development at our military bases that will reduce long-term costs and help to preserve Hawai’i’s unique ecosystems,” Sen. Schatz said in a statement. “Smart, sustainable development can help the Department of Defense achieve long-term cost-savings while promoting military readiness.” - DC Streets Blog, 12/16/13

And Schatz recently gave tribute to his predecessor:

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono  joined other federal lawmakers who marked the anniversary of the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye today by introducing a bill to rename a Honolulu defense institute in his honor. The Senate passed it unanimously.

Renaming the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies for the senator recognizes his support for the institute run by the Department of Defense, Hirono said. The center holds workshops and other educational programs for people involved with regional security.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and other Hawaii elected officials said the best way to honor the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, who died a year ago today, is by continuing to build on his legacy of compassion, humility and public service.

"The senator left the people of Hawaii and the nation with a legacy of honor, leadership and excellence that is unmatched," Abercrombie said in a statement this morning. "He believed in doing what was right for the people of Hawaii, above politics and self-interest. We will do our best to carry on Sen. Inouye's tradition of service and live up to his standards of duty, honor and country. Today and everyday he will be remembered with love and aloha."

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, who was chosen by Abercrombie to replace Inouye, said, "His courage, heroism, and humility earned him the respect and admiration of his fellow service members, his constituents, colleagues, and leaders around the world. In this remembrance, we commit ourselves to the standards he set, to his deep compassion for all people, his love for Hawaii and his belief that together we can shape an ever brighter future for our state and country." - Star-Advertiser, 12/17/13

If you would like more information, please do contact Senator Schatz's office:

(202) 224-3934

And please do consider donating or getting involved with his campaign because he's a great Democrat who needs to stay in the Senate:

Originally posted to pdc on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 10:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Military Community Members of Daily Kos and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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