WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate easily approved a two-year budget resolution on Wednesday despite concerns that it would reduce pension payments to military retirees.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate easily approved a two-year budget resolution on Wednesday despite concerns that it would reduce pension payments to military retirees.

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., voted for the resolution after taking to the Senate floor to speak out against reducing military pensions by an estimated $6.2 billion over the next decade.

After quoting a passage from the Book of Isaiah, Pryor said that singling out military families for budget cuts "is not just unfair, it is wrong. These heroes lay their lives on the line for us and they deserve us to work to fix this."

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle also spoke against the proposal that would trim annual cost-of-living increases for pensions paid to military retirees. Several, including Pryor, have introduced legislation to make the fix or serve on committees that oversee the issue. The pension changes won’t take effect for two years — giving Congress time to find other avenues to reduce spending if they choose.

The Senate voted 64-36 to approve the budget resolution. Pryor voted for it. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., voted against it.

"While we should look for a better method to achieve savings than across-the-board cuts, this agreement falls short of achieving significant savings," Boozman said.

On Tuesday night, Pryor joined most Democrats in opposing a Republican-led effort to scuttle the budget resolution. The Republicans would have eliminated the pension cut and returned the resolution to the House, which approved it last week before adjourning for the year.

Pryor’s action was strongly criticized by his likely Republican challenger in 2014, Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Dardanelle. Cotton had voted against the budget resolution largely because it would raise spending caps for the next two years.

"It’s shameful for Senator Pryor to put party politics and loyalty to Harry Reid above his responsibility to our nation’s wounded warriors. Those who put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms shouldn’t be on Senator Pryor’s chopping block so he can pay for more big-government programs," said Cotton campaign manager Justin Brasell.

Pryor and other Democrats argued that it made more sense to lock in the budget resolution now since the House will not return to work until January. The military pension issue, they said, could be addressed then.

Military advocates, including the VFW and Military Officers Association of America, have come out forcefully against the pension change that would impact military retirees under age 62.

Oklahoma Rep. James Lankford, R-Edmond, said the Budget Conference Committee faced a difficult decision as it sought to avoid draconian sequestration cuts at the Pentagon.

"This put us in a very, very bad situation where we’re actually dealing with major cuts in active military right now or a slight reduction in retired [cost of living raises] for military," he told the NBC television affiliate in Oklahoma City.

Lankford noted that the reduction in cost of living adjustments would only fall on those military retirees under age 62, and many younger military retirees hold another job.

The Department of Defense said there were 2.3 million military retirees and survivor-benefit recipients who received about $52 billion in the 2012 fiscal year.