While lawmakers continue negotiations over the federal budget, U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) has maintained his commitment to protect Social Security by introducing a concurrent resolution opposing cuts to Social Security benefits by formally opposing the use of chained CPI in their calculation.
"We should not expect Rhode Island seniors to sacrifice their earned Social Security benefits to fix fiscal problems that they had no hand in creating," said Cicilline. "I am proud that so many of my colleagues are standing together in this effort with me, as original co-sponsors, and I look forward to helping lead the fight to protect our seniors by fiercely defending Social Security and Medicare benefits in the federal budget."
In Congress, Cicilline has consistently opposed efforts to cut Medicare or Social Security benefits. During his re-election campaign last fall, Cicilline repeatedly and categorically rejected the idea of cutting Social Security benefits for seniors, veterans, or individuals with disabilities. Instead, the second-term representative has advocated for raising the income cap on Social Security and making smart, targeted spending cuts, such as those found in the House Democratic budget proposal.
Earlier this month, chained CPI was included as part of the budget proposal that President Barack Obama submitted to Congress. Although he agreed with much of the President's plan to create jobs and put the United States back to work, Cicilline expressed disappointment at the inclusion of chained CPI and reiterated his promise not to make any cuts in Social Security benefits.
According to AARP's Public Policy Institute, using chained CPI to replace the existing method of calculating Social Security benefits "would have a detrimental impact on the economic wellbeing of older and disabled Americans and their family members who receive benefits from Social Security." Over time, these cuts could significantly reduce benefits for seniors -- making it more difficult for those living on Social Security to make ends meet.
"Social Security isn't an "entitlement program' -- it's a promise our country has made that, after a lifetime of hard work, American seniors can enjoy their retirement years with peace of mind and economic security," Cicilline added. "I will keep fighting to maintain these earned benefits for seniors, veterans, and individuals with disabilities."