The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Michael Briggs (202) 224-5141

Sanders Welcomes White House Decision to Protect Social Security


U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today welcomed White House assurances that President Barack Obama will not call for cuts in Social Security benefits as part of a budget blueprint that he will submit to Congress on March 4.

"I applaud President Obama for his important decision to protect Social Security," Sanders said. "With the middle class struggling and more people living in poverty than ever before, we cannot afford to make life even more difficult for seniors and some of the most vulnerable people in America. I look forward to working with the president to support the needs of the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor."

Sanders is a member of the Senate Budget Committee and founder of the Senate's Defending Social Security Caucus.

On Feb. 14, Sanders and 15 other senators sent a letter to the White House urging Obama to spare Social Security in the budget that he is preparing for the coming fiscal year. The letter emphasized that Social Security has not contributed to the deficit. In fact, the retirement system's $2.7 trillion surplus can pay all benefits owed to every eligible American for the next 19 years.

One year ago, a cut in Social Security benefits was part of the budget blueprint that Obama sent to Congress. He proposed changing how the consumer price index is calculated to lower future cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security recipients. The change also would have affected benefits for disabled veterans, noted Sanders, who chairs the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

Budget writers on Capitol Hill rejected the proposal.

United States Senator for Vermont

(202) 224-5141