Details of President Obama’s budget released ahead of its expected Wednesday debut troubled members of his own party.
Friday, the Congressional Progressive Caucus released a press statement arguing against the White House’s plan to link Social Security cost-of-living benefit increases to chained CPI, a new index that relies on a different basket of goods than the current structure as a measure of inflation.
“One hundred seven Members of the House of Representatives, a majority of the Democratic Caucus, have already stated our vigorous opposition to cutting Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits…Using chained CPI will shift more costs onto already struggling American families, seniors, veterans— including our 3.2 million disabled veterans who also depend on the Social Security calculation for their Veterans Affairs benefits—individuals with disabilities, and children on survivors’ benefits.”
“All of us campaigned through the last election about preserving and strengthening social security and Medicare, it’s frustrating to the base,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, onWeekends with Alex Witt Sunday.
For Grijalva, the issue cuts to the core of the Democratic party’s identity and he hopes “to indicate to the administration that this is a non-starter in the house…it’s not about challenging, it’ s about protecting a program that has been here through presidencies, and not just this one.”
The president may ultimately find himself behind party lines on the issue of social security benefit reduction—a majority of House Democrats oppose the cuts, while Republicans such as Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.,gush that Obama is, “showing a little bit of leg,” with the cuts to social benefits that the GOP demands.