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Skelton asks Congress to find Social Security cost-of-living solution
Skelton asks Congress to find Social Security cost-of-living solution

Congressman Ike Skelton
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 14, 2009) — In a letter sent today, Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) urged the chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means to consider a legislative solution to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) report that found that Social Security benefits may not be subject to cost-of-living adjustments in 2010. This would be the first time since 1975 that there would be no inflationary adjustment to Social Security benefits. Skelton’s letter is set forth below:

September 14, 2009

The Honorable Charles Rangel, Chairman
House Committee on Ways and Means
1102 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. Chairman:

As you know, inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), is used to determine the annual automatic cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security beneficiaries. For 2009, beneficiaries received a 5.8 percent increase in their benefits. However, the Congressional Budget Office projects that in the third quarter of this year the CPI-W will show a decline from one year ago, due in large part to the decline in energy prices over the past year, and call for no increase in the Social Security COLA for 2010.

The mathematical equations used to calculate the annual Social Security COLA are complex and not easily understood. But Social Security recipients understand how important this yearly adjustment is for paying their bills, many of which continue to rise.

Our nation has a proud tradition of honoring hard work, and Social Security is our pledge to the people of the United States that a lifetime of work should be rewarded with a level of financial security in later years. I urge the Ways and Means Committee to look in to this matter and to keep in mind the needs of America’s seniors in the coming year.

With best regards, I remain
Very truly yours,
Ike Skelton
Member of Congress

Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) serves as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Congressman Skelton’s website is at http://www.house.gov/skelton.

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