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Over 100 House Members Call on Speaker Boehner to Take Social Security off the Table in Deficit Negotiations

December 7, 2012
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today 102 members of the House of Representatives, led by Reps. Joe Courtney (D-CT), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Joe Crowley (D-NY), and John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), sent a letter to Speaker Boehner urging him to take cuts to Social Security off the table in the current budget negotiations.

“Millions of seniors depend on Social Security to put food on the table every day,” the co-authors said. “Contrary to some claims, Social Security is not the cause of our nation’s deficit problem. Under longstanding federal law, Social Security is not part of the federal budget and cannot contribute to the federal deficit. We should not sacrifice our seniors to solve a problem they did not create.”

On Monday, the Republican majority released a plan that would tie benefits to a lower level of inflation through a Chained Consumer Price Index (CPI), costing the average 65-year-old retiring now more than $6,000 over 15 years. More than a third of all widowed women rely on Social Security for 90% of their income.

“We can strengthen Social Security while protecting beneficiaries, but we should do so separately from high-stakes budget negotiations,” the co-authors said. “Republicans continue to use scare tactics to dismantle programs they don’t like, but those who receive a Social Security check in the mail every month know how vital that money can be to putting food on the table, paying the rent or taking care of your family.

“We will continue to protect the well-being of these Americans and the Social Security benefits they need.”

The full text of the letter is attached.