It may have come later than usual, but the Senate recently approved a cost of living adjustment (COLA) for millions of veterans and survivors. Pending a signature by President Barack Obama, the 1.7 percent increase in benefits will go into effect on December 1, reports Military Times.

The passage of a COLA each year has become tradition, but Congress was dragging its feet this time around. Legislators failed to pass the bill when they went on recess due to the election, and there were fears that perhaps lawmakers would not be able to reach an agreement on this common measure.

"Particularly in this difficult economy, our veterans deserve a boost in their benefits to help make ends meet," Sen. Patty Murray, chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said in a statement. "I am so glad we were finally able to move forward with passage of this bill. Caring for our nation’s veterans should never be a partisan issue."

While those fears were ultimately not affirmed, the delay does highlight the fact that they may want to consider revising how COLAs are passed each year. Some members of Congress believe the increase should be automatic, much like similar changes to Social Security, according to the publication.