Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) are standing up against a proposal to cut Social Security benefits by changing the way we calculate inflation. Last week, 102 Democrats, including both Progressive and New Democrats, signed a letter calling for Social Security to be off the table in current negotiations. The deal proposed by the Speaker cannot pass without some of those 102 Democrats. Tying Social Security to chained CPI is a benefit cut and members of the CPC will not vote for a deal that cuts the benefits that millions of Americans rely on.
Press statements from Caucus members are below:
Rep. Keith Ellison (Co-Chair of Congressional Progressive Caucus): "I am committed to standing against any benefit cuts to programs Americans rely on and tying Social Security benefits to chained CPI is a benefit cut."
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Co-Chair of Congressional Progressive Caucus): "Chained CPI makes life harder for millions of retirees, weakens Social Security and doesn’t reduce the deficit by a penny. It’s a Beltway fig leaf that I will never support, and I call on my colleagues to make their feelings known as soon as possible before this becomes yet another piece of conventional wisdom that makes things worse."
Rep. Charles Rangel: "Reducing cost of living adjustments is a Social Security benefit cut. Any deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits is unacceptable and I will oppose it.”
Rep. Jan Schakowsky: "We should not put a higher burden on lower-income and middle-class seniors and the millions of American families who depend on their earned benefits. To do so in order to shield the wealthiest Americans from a tax increase is nothing less than immoral.”
Rep. John Conyers: "Any debt deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits is unacceptable.”
Rep. Barbara Lee: "Any deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits is unacceptable”
Rep. Jerry Nadler: "I do not support any deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits.”
Rep. John Lewis: "The reward of their hard work should not be a significant reduction in resources the longer they live and the more vulnerable they become. Something is wrong with this equation."
Rep. Elijah Cummings: "It is fundamentally unfair to ask our most vulnerable citizens–our elderly and our poor–to shoulder the burden for our country; it is morally wrong and unacceptable. We must do better."
Rep. David Cicilline: "I will vote against any agreement that imposes cuts to already modest Social Security benefits and does not ask millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share."
Rep. Jim McDermott: "Reducing cost of living adjustments is a Social Security benefit cut. Any deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits is unacceptable and I will oppose it."
Rep. Peter DeFazio: "Using the chained CPI to calculate COLAs would cause the average senior to lose over $16,000 over 25 year retirement. Nearly 70 percent of Social Security beneficiaries depend on Social Security for at least half of their income. Social Security is the sole source of income for 15 percent of recipients . Asking these retirees on a fixed income to bear the brunt of reducing a deficit that they did not create is inappropriate and unacceptable.”