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      GOP Senator: Budget cuts affect survivor benefits

      <p>Ayotte said the cuts unfairly shortchange military retirees, survivors and combat-injured.</p>

      WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon has told a Republican senator that a cut in last month's budget agreement affecting military retirees also would affect survivors' benefits.

      That's the word from Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, a member of the Armed Services Committee. Ayotte, an opponent of the contentious pension cut, pressed the Pentagon on the impact.

      The senator said Monday that the change would affect annuity payments under the Survivor Benefit Plan as well as combat-related special compensation programs. The budget set a 1 percentage point cut to annual cost-of-living increases for military retirees.

      Ayotte said the cuts unfairly shortchange military retirees, survivors and combat-injured.

      Proponents say it would save about $6 billion over the coming decade, money that's being used to ease cuts to the Pentagon budget this year.(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)