Senate Democrats Reject Obama's Move to Trim Social Security

Image: Senate Democrats Reject Obama's Move to Trim Social Security Activists opposing proposed cuts to Social Security rally in front of the White House on April 9.

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 09:41 AM

By Ronald Kessler

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A majority of Senate Democrats facing re-election next year are rejecting President Barack Obama’s proposal to trim back Social Security cost-of-living benefits, a key part of his 2014 spending request to Congress.

The measure is aimed at reaching a budget compromise with Republicans, but many Democrats, especially those in predominately GOP or so-called Red states, are pushing back against it, according to The Huffington Post.

Among those fighting it the hardest are Sens. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas. All are running in states that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney won last year, and all three are co-sponsoring a resolution against the president's cost-cutting Social Security proposal.

Democratic Sens. Al Franken of Minnesota, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, and Brian Schatz of Hawaii, have also signed on as co-sponsors.

Begich has also announced two new bills to actively protect Social Security benefits. The first would eliminate the income cap of $113, 700 for Social Security taxes, while the other, instead of reducing benefits for seniors, would weigh the cost-of-living adjustment to account for items on which they spend the most money, such as healthcare.

Guy Cecil, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, told the Huffington Post that lawmakers up for re-election have to do what they think is best for their campaigns.

"The advice that we give to every single candidate is the same: When you agree with the president, you should say so; when you disagree with the president, you should say so; and you shouldn’t be ham-handed about either one.”

Internal Democratic surveys have shown that the president's proposal to change the way the cost-of-living adjustment is calculated to reduce the size of the annual increase is the least popular of entitlement reform proposals, The Huffington Post reported.

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