Representatives of veterans groups were assured by White House officials Monday that veterans benefits and compensation are safe from across-the-board spending cuts that could be triggered by the debt agreement under consideration.

The compromise includes a trigger mechanism to force automatic across-the-board cuts of $1.2 trillion to agency budgets over the next decade if a special congressional committee is unable to agree on a plan.

Jon Carson, director of public engagement for the White House, told veterans representatives at a White House briefing that veterans benefits would be exempt, according to a veterans’ representative at the meeting.

“If the trigger takes place, veterans benefits and compensation will be safe from across the board cuts,” said Joseph R. Chenelly, who represented the Disabled American Veterans at the meeting

“If what we heard was accurate, that veterans would be safe, we’re happy about that,” Chenelly added.

But he said the group remains concerned about what programs might be targeted for cuts by the special committee. “We’re anxious to see how that is assembled,” Chenelly said.