WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released the following statement today after Senate Republicans voted down legislation that would provide emergency assistance to nearly 1.5 million Ohio seniors.
The legislation, the Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act of 2010—cosponsored by Senator Brown—would have provided a one-time, $250 check to senior citizens to offset the rising costs of prescription drugs and other necessities. In October, the Social Security Administration announced—for the second year in a row—that there would be no cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) increase for Social Security recipients for the coming year.
“With today’s vote, Senate Republicans have sent a clear message to Americans. They want to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires that already have plenty in their pockets, but they can’t be bothered to help senior citizens afford prescription drugs or pay their home heating bills,” Brown said. “Given that times continue to be so difficult for many middle-class American families, it seems like Republicans are living in some alternate universe where people aren’t having trouble making ends meet or finding it hard to put food on the table every night.”
Earlier today, Brown released a county-by-county analysis showing the number of senior citizens that would have benefited from the emergency $250 payment. The analysis showed that 175,535 seniors in Cuyahoga County would receive the benefit, in addition to 97,480 seniors in Hamilton County and 100,245 seniors in Franklin County.
Just after the Social Security Administration’s October announcement, Brown was one of six senators 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.