April 24, 2013

Whitehouse Cosponsors Resolution Opposing Cuts to Social Security

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) joined Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) to introduce a resolution opposing the so-called “chained CPI” proposal that would reduce annual cost-of-living adjustments and cut future Social Security benefits for seniors.  Earlier this month Senator Whitehouse decried the proposal, which was included in President Obama’s budget request, calling it “a benefit cut disguised behind technical jargon.”

Chained CPI would change the way cost-of-living increases are calculated, making an already inadequate formula even less adequate for our nation’s seniors and gradually cutting Social Security benefits over time.  Senator Harkin’s resolution formally opposes the use of chained CPI to calculate cost-of-living adjustments.  Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) introduced a similar resolution in the House of Representatives.

“I made a promise to Rhode Islanders to always fight cuts to Social Security, which is fully solvent for the next 20 years,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “The chained CPI proposal in President Obama’s budget has no place in the debate over federal spending.  It would jeopardize the security of our nation’s seniors, and I refuse to stand by and watch seniors pay the price for a deficit they had no part in creating. I’m proud to cosponsor Senator Harkin’s resolution opposing this harmful proposal.”

A detailed one-page summary of how chained CPI would affect seniors is available for download here.

Senator Whitehouse is a member of the Senate Budget Committee and has consistently fought attempts to cut Social Security.  He is a cosponsor of the Keeping Our Social Security Promises Act, which would ensure that Social Security remains solvent for the next 50 years by asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share into the system.  He has also argued that the existing formula used to calculate annual cost-of-living adjustments shortchanges seniors, and has called for a more accurate measure of inflation – the opposite of what chained CPI would produce.

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921