WASHINGTON – Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) issued the following statement today in response to news that the President’s budget will not include a chained CPI index for Social Security benefits:
“Americans and the Congressional Progressive Caucus have always known that cutting earned benefits for seniors is unacceptable and that chained CPI is a benefit cut for seniors, veterans and people with disabilities. The CPC applauds the president’s decision and looks forward to hearing more about his budget in the coming days.
“The CPC has actively opposed chained CPI from the beginning. In April of last year, we rallied one hundred and seven Members of the House of Representatives, a majority of the Democratic Caucus, in formal opposition to proposed Social Security cuts. The American people are tired of endless cuts to services they need and value, and we stand with them. They are tired of being asked to make sacrifices while tax loopholes for big corporations are left open. Chained CPI would have been another in a long line of unfair deals for working people and retirees. We hope today marks the start of a new direction for Washington and for the country.
“This announcement is a victory for the CPC and, more importantly, for the millions of Americans who won’t see their benefits cut to pay for corporate tax breaks. The CPC has worked to amplify the voices of seniors wherever possible: educating Congress, lobbying the President, in the media, and in the streets. Back in October, Social Security activists from across the country joined members of the CPC on the lawn in front of the U.S. Capitol to form a human chain against chained CPI. Their dedication and their relentless criticism of this benefit cut in disguise is what ultimately defeated chained CPI.
“We commend the President for his decision to keep cuts to Social Security out of his proposed budget this year. The CPC will continue the push to strengthen and expand Social Security. It does not contribute one penny to the deficit and it never has. Budget conversations should focus on how we can work to help struggling seniors in this country, not on how to shift the burden to working people and retirees.”