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Congressman Pomeroy Receives Commitment to Advance Seniors Protection Act, Provide COLA Relief to Seniors

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Ways and Means Social Security Chairman Earl Pomeroy announced today that the House will take up the Seniors Protection Act when Congress reconvenes in November, as the Social Security Administration announced that no COLA will be payable to seniors in 2011. The Seniors Protection Act of 2010 will provide a $250 payment to about 54 million Social Security recipients.

Congressman Pomeroy introduced the bill, H.R. 5987, in July, and has since worked to ensure that this bill will be enacted before the end of the year. Congressman Pomeroy received assurances today from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Ways and Means Chairman Sander Levin that this bill will be brought to the House floor and passed when the House reconvenes in November

"I've worked hard with my colleagues to make this bill a priority, and I am very pleased that we have received Speaker Pelosi's commitment to bring this bill for a vote on the House floor," Congressman Pomeroy said. "Seniors who rely on their modest Social Security payments need these cost-of-living-adjustments for their day-to-day survival."

Individuals receiving Social Security benefits have seen everyday expenses for drugs, medical care, utilities, housing and food increase while Social Security benefits have remained unchanged. Seniors and others receiving benefits face ongoing struggles to meet these costs given the modest level of their benefits, amounting to only $14,000 annually, on average.

Speaker Pelosi and Ways and Means Chairman Levin, along with Congressman Pomeroy, are committed to passing the Seniors Protection Act in a financially responsible way.

The Social Security Administration announced today that there will be no COLA for 2011, making 2011 the second consecutive year that Social Security retirees, veterans, and people with disabilities will see no increase in their monthly Social Security, SSI, VA Pension and Compensation, and Railroad Retirement benefits. This unprecedented situation is a result of economic conditions, not the result of Congressional or Presidential action or inaction. The COLA is set by a formula in the law.

"In this economy, seniors are struggling to make ends meet," Congressman Pomeroy said. "Passing this bill will ensure that the lack of cost-of-living-adjustment will not jeopardize seniors' ability to survive on their benefits."

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