Conyers Joins Rally Opposing Chained CPI Social Security Benefit Cut; Urges Republicans Not to Oppose Raising the Debt Limit
(WASHINGTON) – Today, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) rallied with Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and retiree advocates against the proposed Chained CPI Social Security benefit cut. Under the Chained CPI proposal, at age 75, a senior’s benefits would be cut by about $660 per year on average. At age 85, those benefits would be cut by about $1,150 per year, and at age 95, by about $1,600 per year. Republicans in Congress have repeatedly demanded that any increase in the nation’s debt limit should be tied to cuts to social insurance programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Following the rally, Rep. Conyers issued the following statement:
“On several occasions over the past three years, Republicans in Congress have held the full faith and credit of the United States hostage when an increase in the nation’s debt ceiling is required. They plan to once more push through unpopular cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as a price for raising the debt limit. Republicans support a terrible proposal, known as Chained CPI. Under this formula, the average Social Security retiree would see his or her benefits cut by $500 a year after 10 years. After 20 years, the average benefit would be cut by about $1,000 a year. Some have argued that the Chained CPI is a necessary compromise, so that we can address the debt and end the threat posed by the sequester. I would suggest that penalizing our most vulnerable by cutting a program that, by law, cannot add to the deficit, is not a compromise worth making,” said Conyers.
“What Congress must do with the sequester is repeal it. My legislation, the ‘Cancel the Sequester Act,’ would do just that.
“Instead of penalizing seniors, veterans, youth, and young people, Congress should be pursuing policies that create full employment and strengthen the health and retirement benefits of all Americans. Why cut Social Security benefits when we can eliminate the cap on the payroll tax contributions of our wealthiest Americans?
“I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised by the callous attitude exhibited by some Republicans when it comes to the well-being of working families and middle-class Americans. In the current government shutdown fiasco, Republicans have directed their energy toward reopening our national parks, while at the same time turning an indifferent, cold shoulder to the youngsters shut out of the Headstart program and vulnerable women and children who will lose their nutritional assistance provided by the WIC program.
“I join my colleagues and all who believe in fundamental fairness to oppose Chained CPI and the government shutdown because my conscience will not allow me to stay silent on an issue that has the potential to harm the lives of so many. What we should do is re-open the government immediately, raise the debt limit, put forth a clean continuing resolution, and let all the new healthcare beneficiaries enroll in the Affordable Care Act – because it is now the law of the land.”
Rep. Conyers, alongside progressive Congressmen and advocates, rallying against Chained CPI.