Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement today responding to reports that President Obama will include chained CPI in his annual budget.
"Republicans have been trying to dismantle Social Security ever since President Roosevelt proposed it during the Great Depression. We should not try to bargain for their good will with policies that hurt our seniors, especially since they've been unwilling to reduce tax loopholes for millionaires and wealthy corporations by so much as a dime.
"One hundred seven Members of the House of Representatives, a majority of the Democratic Caucus, have already stated our vigorous opposition to cutting Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits. Americans all over the country depend on every single dollar they get from Social Security to put food on the table and pay for housing. Using chained CPI will shift more costs onto already struggling American families, seniors, veterans -- including our 3.2 million disabled veterans who also depend on the Social Security calculation for their Veterans Affairs benefits -- individuals with disabilities, and children on survivors' benefits.
"This week, a new study from the New America Foundation finds that proposals to cut Social Security benefits could be disastrous for our economy because the recession has led more seniors to rely to Social Security for income. Cutting benefits now, when people are already struggling to make ends meet, will mean unnecessary hardship for millions of people. It is unpopular, unwise and unworkable."