BIPARTISAN “SENIORS ACT” GRANTS RECIPIENTS ONE-TIME COST-OF-LIVING PAYMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. – For just the third time in 40 years, the Social Security Administration (SSA)announced in October that beneficiaries would see no cost-of-living increase next year, due to low fuel prices, driving down inflation. However, health care costs, a disproportionate amount of seniors’ expenses, are on the rise.
To help vulnerable seniors meet basic needs, such as health care, housing and nutrition, Representatives Frank Guinta and Kyrsten Sinema – a Republican from New Hampshire and Democrat from Arizona, respectively – joined yesterday to introduce the SENIORS Act, a bipartisan bill granting Social Security recipients a one-time payment equal to a percentage point cost-of-living (COLA) increase.
Also known as the“Saving the Earnings and Noting the Investment of Our Retired Seniors Act,” their legislation eliminates wasteful federal spending to achieve a budgetary balance.
“One third of Social Security recipients rely on benefits for90 percent of their total income,” explained Rep. Guinta, adding that many shared concerns at a town hall in Merrimack in his First District.“Our SENIORS Act is a fiscally responsible solution to helping the elderly pay their bills, especially important as New Hampshire’s harsh winter arrives. No senior should have to choose between rent and groceries.”
The Granite State’s elderly population is larger than many states’.
“After a lifetime of hard work, Arizonans deserve to retire with dignity and peace of mind,” said Rep. Sinema (AZ09). “Thousands of Arizona seniors depend on Social Security to survive, and their budgets are stretched too thin. This bipartisan legislation is a commonsense, fiscally responsible solution that helps seniors keep up with the rising cost of food, energy, prescription drugs, and housing.”
The two House members, whopartnered in September to introduce the AUDIT Act, reining in federal spending, said their bill is the only bipartisan House or Senate solution that addresses the SSA’s recent decision – and the effect would be immediate. “I’m proud to offer this legislation with Congresswoman Sinema,”said Rep. Guinta (NH01). “Under our SENIORS Act, U.S. veterans would get a similar cost-of-living adjustment to their monthly VA benefits and in way that would cost taxpayers no additional money.
“We’re also asking heads of relevant federal agencies to present a formula that better reflects Social Security beneficiaries’ economic conditions, so more feel a sense of real financial security,” he said. “Past generations of Americans have worked hard and paid into this fund. We should do our best to keep our promise to them.”
“I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to strengthen Social Security for Arizona seniors and generations to come,” said Rep. Sinema. She is a member of theHouse Financial Services Committee with Rep. Guinta.
Rep. Frank Guinta and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema