Legislative Update for Week Ending December 7, 2012

Legislative Update for Week Ending December 7, 2012

This week, talks to avert the Fiscal Cliff continued with House Republicans putting forth a proposal to reduce the deficit by $2.2 trillion. Meanwhile, TSCL saw one new cosponsor – Rep Michael Michaud (ME-2) – sign on to the Notch Fairness Act.

Fiscal Cliff Talks Continue with New Comprehensive Plan

In a letter sent to the White House on Monday, House Republicans made a $2.2 trillion proposal to reduce the deficit and avert the Fiscal Cliff. The plan serves as a counteroffer to the proposal that the Obama Administration put forth last week, and it was signed by Speaker of the House John Boehner (OH-8), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA-7), Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (WI-1), and three other senior Republicans.

Though specific details were not outlined, the plan proposes to: raise $800 billion in revenue through tax reform, reduce health care spending by $600 billion through cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, cut both mandatory and discretionary spending by $300 billion, and adopt the “chained” CPI – a move that would significantly affect Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs).

Speaker Boehner said on Monday, “What we are putting forward is a credible plan that deserves serious consideration by the White House.” However, the Obama Administration immediately rejected the proposal, saying that it “includes nothing new” and it fails to “meet the test of balance.”

It is clear that leaders on Capitol Hill are far from reaching a compromise, and with only three weeks remaining before the start of the New Year, many are beginning to wonder whether lawmakers will be able to find common ground. TSCL sincerely hopes that lawmakers will responsibly avert the fiscal cliff without enacting benefit cuts for Social Security and Medicare. We encourage you to contact your Members of Congress to request their support for fair COLAs, a long-term solution to the “doc fix,” and an end to the payroll tax holiday. To find contact information for your Members of Congress, click HERE.

Key Bill Gains Support

One new cosponsor – Rep. Michael Michaud (ME-2) – signed on to Rep. Mike McIntyre’s (NC-7) Notch Fairness Act (H.R. 1001) this week. The cosponsor total is now up to thirty-eight.

If signed into law, the Notch Fairness Act would provide some compensation to Notch babies, or those who receive lower Social Security benefits because they were born between the years 1917 and 1926. TSCL feels that this is an inequity that was brought about because of the Social Security Act Amendments that were signed into law in 1977. Just years before they were set to retire, Notch babies learned that they would have significantly lower benefits than originally anticipated. We strongly believe that some compensation for that injustice should be provided, and we fully support the Notch Fairness Act, which would do just that.