March 09, 2016
Seniors and Veterans Demand a Vote on the SAVE Benefits Act
Today Maryland/DC Alliance member Susan Taylor spoke at an event on Capitol Hill urging the Senate to vote on S. 2251, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s SAVE Benefits Act – providing seniors a one-time payment of $581. The amount is 3.9% of the average annual Social Security benefit, the same percentage that the average Wall Street executive received as a bonus in 2014.
While retirees struggle to make ends meet with no Social Security cost-of-living adjustment in 2016, CEO’s enjoy tax breaks on their bonuses.
Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Warren (D-MA) joined seniors and veterans to demand that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) bring the Seniors and Veterans Emergency Benefits Act (SAVE Benefits Act) to the floor for a vote. Afterwards, activists delivered more than 800,000 petition signatures in support of the bill.
Senator Warren and 21 cosponsors have introduced the SAVE Benefits Act to ensure that Social Security beneficiaries and veterans are not harmed by the failure of benefits to keep up with their cost of living. The SAVE Benefits Act would provide seniors, Veterans, people with disabilities, SSI recipients, and others a one-time payment equal to 3.9 percent of Social Security’s average benefit, or about $581 per person, paid for by the closure of a wasteful loophole that allows corporations to write off executive bonuses to their highly paid CEOs as a “business expense.”
This year marks just the third time in 40 years that Social Security beneficiaries, veterans and others will see no cost of living adjustment (COLA) in their benefits, despite the fact that the cost of prescription drugs and other expenses is continuing to rise.
“The 0% COLA was calculated partly by figuring in a lower price for gas, but I don’t drive very much,” said Ms. Taylor at the event. “This one-time emergency payment would help me with what I do spend money on: food, health care expenses, and housing.”
“With no Social Security cost-of-living adjustment this year, a one-time payment of $581 would mean so much to me and my family,” she added.
See the video from the event here.