Republicans are moving ahead to give consideration to President Barack Obama’s proposal to limit future increases in Social Security benefits, while Democrats continue to oppose the measure.
As part of the budget proposal sent to Congress last week, Obama included a plan to use the “chained-CPI” as a more accurate measure of inflation in order to determine future cost-of-living increases for retirees, effectively slowing increases in their monthly benefit checks.
Republican Rep. Sam Johnson of Texas, chairman of the House Ways and Means subcommittee, has scheduled for Thursday the first public hearing looking at Obama’s proposal, The Washington Post
reported. In addition, the panel’s health subcommittee will hold hearings on proposals by Obama that seek to control Medicare costs.
While Johnson praised Obama for including the chained-CPI adjustment in his budget request — saying it was “a first step toward protecting Social Security for today’s workers” — Democrats are furious with Obama for including the plan.
Democrats complained during a recent meeting arranged by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi that their offices were being flooded with calls from irate constituents.
“Politically, this is not a winner. Our brand is the party that brought you Social Security,” Democratic Rep. Rush D. Holt of New Jersey told the Post following the meeting.
Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner is trying to tamp down on Republicans who are criticizing the plan as being harmful to seniors.
After Republican Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon called Obama's Social Security proposal “a shocking attack on seniors,” Boehner told reporters, “I’ve made it clear that I disagreed with what Chairman Walden said.”
“This is the least we must do to begin to solve the problem of Social Security,” Boehner said.
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