KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. -

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) announced Thursday that he has added his name as an original co-sponsor of a bill to protect military retirees from changes to their pension benefits that were included in the Ryan-Murray budget agreement passed by Congress in recent days

The bill would replace the pension cuts with a reform to ensure that billions of dollars in tax credits aren’t improperly paid to illegal immigrants each year.

 “I supported the budget agreement because it reduces the deficit and keeps the government open without raising taxes. But the agreement contained pension changes for certain military retirees that I would not have supported as a stand-alone plan, Walden said.

"Although the pension changes don’t take effect for two years, the time to fix this is now. Our common-sense bill replaces those pension changes with a plan to stop illegal immigrants from improperly receiving federal tax credits. This proposal protects military retirees, reduces the deficit, and further targets waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government,” Walden said.

 The bill would replace the changes to cost of living adjustments for military retirees with a reform that would stop illegal immigrants from receiving the refundable portion of the child tax credit by requiring tax filers to include their Social Security Number on tax return forms.

The Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that this reform saves $7 billion over 10 years. A 2011 report from the Department of Treasury indicates that $4.2 billion in these tax credits were paid out fraudulently in 2010 alone. For the full text of the plan, please click here.

 Walden was in Klamath Falls Thursday for a roundtable with small businesses, a meeting with the president of Klamath Community College and a meeting with Jeld-Wen.