Ranking Member of Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA) released the following statement today responding to President Obama's budget.
"As he has done often throughout his administration, President Obama has shown a commendable willingness to find compromise with members from both parties. Division in Congress can sometimes seem insurmountable, and the President has rightfully attempted to find common ground.
"Pursuit of bipartisanship, however, cannot justify using our most vulnerable people as a bargaining chip. Seniors in America, half of whom live on about $22,000 annually, can't afford to shoulder the financial burden of balancing our budget, which is exactly what a 'chained' Consumer Price Index (CPI) would ask of them. Many Social Security recipients live paycheck to paycheck and don't have money left over to finance Republicans' insatiable appetite for more tax breaks.
"Adopting chained CPI would represent a betrayal of our commitment of security to our seniors, but it is also a useless gesture. Again and again, the majority leadership has pushed phony fiscal crises and no appeasement will stop them. They want the destruction of our social safety net and we won't see a break in the incendiary rhetoric or apocalyptic predictions until they've met their end goal.
"I'm disheartened that the President feels the need to risk the livelihood and wellbeing of our seniors and it is a sad reflection of our changing priorities. I will continue to fight for access to a dignified life for all of America's at-risk and disenfranchised communities."