2010 is the first time in 35 years that Social Security beneficiaries will not receive a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) increase. In light of this decision, there is concern that the COLA does not reflect the specific needs of senior citizens. This could be accomplished by creating a Consumer Price Index for Elderly (CPI-E). For years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has maintained similar formulas for wage earners and clerical workers, and a CPI-E would alleviate this inequity for senior citizens. To that end, I am a co-sponsor of H.R. 2429, the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers Act of 2009, would ensure that senior citizens receive the Social Security benefits that adequately reflect the rising costs of medical care and other senior-specific goods and services.
Today's seniors are facing increasing costs on a fixed income, but many of these seniors aren't even getting all the benefits they paid into Social Security. In an effort to fix this inequality, I have introduced H.R. 1067, the Notch Fairness Act of 2009, to help these individuals who have been adversely affected by the 1977 changes in the Social Security benefit computation rule. These modifications have unfairly deprived those seniors who reached age 65 after 1979 and before 1988 of their fair share of Social Security benefits. I am pleased that we have acquired over 90 cosponsors to date, and I believe that my notch legislation would rectify this problem and give these seniors their due.