WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined five of his Senate colleagues today to send a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) asking him to support legislation that would provide Social Security recipients with an emergency $250 payment in lieu of a COLA increase. Last week, the Social Security Administration announced that for the second straight year, there would be no increase in benefits for recipients for the coming year.
“The economic downturn has been particularly hard for seniors, who often struggle to balance the high cost of their prescriptions against grocery and utility bills,” Brown said. “For the second year in a row, Social Security recipients will see no increase in benefits, even at a time when the price of medications and other necessities has gone up. I urge the Minority Leader and his party to join Democrats in supporting a one-time, $250 payment to seniors to help them weather these difficult times.”
In addition to Brown, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) signed the letter to McConnell.
“We hope that you will agree with us that it is far more important to provide $250 in emergency relief to senior citizens and disabled veterans than it is to provide an average tax break of over $100,000 a year to taxpayers earning more than $1 million a year,” the senators wrote.
“Congress will soon be debating the extension of the Bush tax cuts and whether or not we should be providing $700 billion in tax breaks over the next ten years to the top 2 percent of income earners. We should note that the estimated $13 billion cost of emergency relief this year to our seniors is only a fraction of the $70 billion in average annual tax breaks over the next decade that would go to the wealthiest two percent of Americans if all of these tax breaks are extended,” the senators continued.
“Therefore, we are writing to ask that you join us in supporting legislation as soon as the Senate comes back into session to provide $250 in emergency relief to our nation's most vulnerable senior citizens and disabled veterans to help them pay for their increased cost of living,” the senators concluded.
To read the entire letter, click here.