Bill would provide payment to replace COLA
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Nov 10, 2015
A group of 19 senators introduced a bill last week that would provide an emergency payment to seniors, veterans and others affected by the lack of a cost-of-living adjustment in 2016.
The lack of a COLA means that Social Security payments and certain other benefits will remain unchanged next year.
The Seniors and Veterans Emergency (SAVE) Benefits Act would give about 70 million seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, and others an emergency payment equal to 3.9 percent of the average annual Social Security benefit, about $581. According to the sponsors, 3.9 percent is the same percentage by which compensation of CEOs at the top 350 firms increased last year.
The legislation would pay for the emergency payment by closing a tax loophole that lets corporations write off executive bonuses as a business expense for performance pay.
According to the senators, the $581 increase could cover about three months of groceries for seniors, or a year's worth of out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for an average Medicare beneficiary.
"If we do nothing, on Jan. 1, more than 70 million seniors, veterans, and other Americans won't get an extra dime in much-needed Social Security and other benefits,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). “And while Congress sits on its hands and pretends that there's nothing we can do, taxpayers will keep right on subsidizing billions of dollars' worth of bonuses for highly paid CEOs."
The sponsors include 18 Democrats and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (Vt.), an independent who caucuses with Democrats.