The chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee complained Thursday that an unnamed Republican senator blocked a bill last week to provide veterans with an annual cost-of-living adjustment, a maneuver that could delay payments for recipients.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) brought the bill to the floor Sept. 21. The bill was cleared by Democrats but was held up by an unidentified Republican, according to her office. The Senate subsequently recessed without passing the bill.
After Murray issued a statement Thursday morning calling the development “stunning,” the office of Sen. Richard Burr (N.C.), the ranking Republican on the veterans committee, said the issue had been resolved.
“It has cleared our side, meaning there is no hold,” David Ward, a spokesman for Burr, said Thursday afternoon.
Under Senate rules requiring unanimous consent, a single senator can block legislation by privately placing a hold on the bill.
The bill, HR 4114, was passed by the House in July and is intended to provide more than 3.9 million veterans and their survivors with a cost-of-living adjustment to disability compensation and benefits meant to offset inflation and other factors, according to Murray’s office. The bill normally passes each year without controversy.