Thursday, December 9, 2010

GOP Blocks $250 Check For Seniors In Lieu Of Social Security COLA

Consumer Price Index shows little or no inflation, though health care and housing costs for seniors grew at a faster rate than other segments of the population

Washington - GOP Congressmen and Senators refused to allow a one-time $250 payment in lieu of a cost of living allowance (COLA) for Social Security clients.

Though consumer prices charged senior citizens for health care and housing have outpaced the rest of the population, Consumer Price Index figures show little or no inflation, which caused no COLA to be granted for the second year in a row.

Republicans queried after the fast track legislation failed to muster the required 2/3 majority for passage said the nation simply cannot afford the estimated $14 billion the measure would have cost. Nays outnumbered positive votes by 254 over 153.

Democrats, on the other hand, including President Barack Obama, are on record saying that senior citizens getting by on Social Security need the one-time payment to make it through the winter.

Citing rising health care costs and falling home values, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the proposal fiscally responsible, “But unfortunately, congressional Republicans overwhelmingly chose to oppose it.”

Only 26 Repubicans voted for the bill; 141 opposed it, while Democrats supported the measure, 228-12.

More than 58 million retirees, disabled people and surviving family members receive Social Security or SSI checks each month. The average amount paid each is $1,072.

The last increase paid was in 2009, a record 5.8 percent, which was the largest in 27years. The payment was triggered by a $4 per gallon spike in gasoline prices the previous year. By law, no COLA will be granted for Social Security recipients until the Consumer Price Index tops the figures reflected in the summer of 2009.

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