President Obama has indicated that he would support major cuts to Social Security benefits by endorsing a "chained CPI" to calculate benefits. Under these cuts, "a person age 75 in the future will get a yearly benefit that’s $653 lower after ten years of chained CPI than that person would get under the current formula. An 85-year-old will have $1,139 less to live on."
We're hosting this liveblog again today to round up the progressive response to these devastating cuts. First, here are four things you can do today to help those bold progressives who are speaking out.
1) Call your Congressman, tell them to join these bold progressives in opposing the President's proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare!
2) The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC,) along with other progressive organizations, are organizing a "waterfall" of public comments from congressional offices and progressive allies, opposing these cuts. You can follow us on Twitter or on Facebook to witness the growing chorus!
3) Thousands of Americans are promising to hold accountable Democratic politicians who support cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits. Click here to join PCCC's accountability pledge.
4) We set up an ActBlue page to highlight and reward bold progressive members of Congress who are speaking out publicly today. Check them out and donate $3 to them here.
11:06 AM: Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Keith Ellison releases statement calling these benefit cuts "irresponsible."
11:15 AM: Rep-elect Mark Takano (D-CA) reiterates his position in standing with seniors and working families against any cuts to benefits.
11:20 AM: Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) vows to "oppose" the Obama deal because of its cuts to Social Security benefits.
11:40 AM: Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) issues a statement saying he would “never support” the chained CPI.
11:44 AM: Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) firmly rejects the deal, saying that it’s “unacceptable” to cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits.
12:08 PM: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) opposes the Chained CPI for Social Security in the final fiscal deal.
1:03 PM: Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) speaks out against a plan like Obama’s that would offer only a tiny increase in taxes for the wealthy in exchange for cuts to Social Security benefits.
1:19 PM: Progressive Organizations stand together in united opposition to Obama's proposed Social Security cuts. Here's our statement:"This proposed deal will cut Social Security benefits. Any deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits is unacceptable — and progressive organizations join with the overwhelming majority of Americans who oppose it." – Stephanie Taylor, Co-Founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee2:00 PM: AFL-CIO Pres. Richard Trumka releases a statement calling on Congress "to reject any cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, or Medicare benefits, regardless of who proposes them."
3:11 PM: Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) releases a statemet rejecting "cutting benefits for people that have worked all their lives and are now making ends meet on fixed incomes."
3:20 PM: Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) boldly asserts "Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit -- why are we even talking about it?"
3:36 PM: Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) speaks out, saying: "Chained CPI is a benefits cut."
3:36 PM: Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) adds to the chorus of voices against Obama's proposed cuts when he calls the Chained CPI a "Social Security benefit cut."
5:38 PM: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) declares "I don't like it at all" when asked about the chained CPI and Social Security.
6:14 PM: Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) asserts "We cannot allow a move towards chained CPI."
9:26AM: Congressman-elect Jared Huffman (D-CA) tells us,"I do not support reducing Social Security benefits or raising the Medicare eligibility age, nor do I support giving ground on the upper income tax rate."Today's Liveblog:
9:31AM Last night, Rep and Sen-elect Chris Murphy (D-CT,) Rep James McGovern (D-MA,) Rep Gerry Connolly (D-VA,) Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA,) Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI,) Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD,) and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) all boldly spoke out against the White House's proposed fiscal deal and a Chained CPI for Social Security.
12:23 PM: Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) speaks out, calling the proposed chained CPI for Social Security "fundamentally unfair."
12:49 PM: Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) joins with veterans' groups such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars in denouncing the President's fiscal proposal.
1:40 PM:Rep David Cicilline (D-RI) speaks out against the latest proposal for a chained CPI, stating he will "vote against any deal the imposes cuts to already modest Social Security benefits."
2:25 PM: Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR): "I staunchly oppose the latest proposal to cut the Social Security cost of living adjustments (COLAs) by using the 'chained CPI.'"
4:15 PM: Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) says he will "oppose" any deal with benefit cuts.
8:08 PM: The Congressional Progressive Caucus -- which represents 75 Members in the House -- releases a statement saying it considered chained CPI to be a benefit cut and that its members will not vote for a deal that cuts benefits.
10:39 AM: Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, during an appearance on The Young Turks, reiterated last night that House Progressives will not vote for any benefit cuts. Watch it:
11:53 AM: The National Organization of Women calls on Congress to "reject this deal."
12:26 PM: Statements unearthed from 2011 show that House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) and Caucus Vice Chair Joseph Crowley (D-NY) both opposed chained CPI then. Crowley called it the "Chainsaw CPI."
1:07 PM: Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) says the chained CPI proposal would make seniors eat "cat food." Watch it:
3:59 PM: Congressman-elect Alan Grayson (D-FL) says the cut would be "unfair" and "unwise."
4:23 PM: Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) reiterates his opposition, says no deal is better than a bad deal: "On Jan. 1, if we do nothing, seniors get a full COLA [cost-of-living-allowance] … and Lloyd Blankfein pays more in taxes."
Again, here are 4 things you can do today to help:
1) Call your Congressman and ask them to speak out publicly against the President's proposed benefits cuts.
3) Join PCCC's accountability pledge to hold Democrats accountable on benefits cuts.
4) Chip in $3 to reward bold progressive members of Congress who are speaking out publicly today.