Bennet to Introduce Amendment to Pay for Social Security COLA

Washington – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet announced today that he will offer an amendment to pay for a cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for Social Security. 

The Senate is expected to vote today on a motion to begin debate on the Senior Citizens Relief Act, which would provide a one-time $250 COLA to Social Security Recipients.  Bennet supports the COLA and  believes that it should be paid for to ensure it does not increase the deficit. 

“I have spoken to senior citizens across Colorado who rely on Social Security and are struggling to get by in a difficult economy.  They have budgeted for a cost of living increase to help them meet increasing burdens,” Bennet said.  “It’s our job to find a responsible way to provide our seniors with a COLA while not increasing the deficit and driving up the national debt.”

If the motion to begin debate receives the 60 votes required to pass, Bennet will introduce an amendment to end tax giveaways to the largest oil companies.  Specifically, it would eliminate the Section 199 manufacturing deduction for the five largest integrated oil and gas companies.  Additionally, it would retract unspent federal funds in other areas to ensure that the one-time payment is deficit neutral.  The amendment would provide much needed relief to seniors throughout Colorado without increasing the deficit.

The Social Security Administration has announced that for the second straight year, more than 58 million Americans will go without a Social Security COLA.  Since 1975, when the formula for determining Social Security COLAs was signed into law, Social Security recipients have never gone two consecutive years without a cost-of-living increase.  Many have seen their savings disappear, their pension funds in severe decline and the value of their homes dramatically diminished.  As a result of these trends, the number of seniors declaring bankruptcy has risen.  At the same time, the costs of prescription drugs and health care continue to increase.