House bill to give seniors $250 defeated
WASHINGTON - The House has rejected a Democratic effort to pay Social Security recipients $250 to make up for the lack of a cost-of-living increase for next year.
Democrats argued that the payment was needed to offset the hardships of seniors facing a second consecutive year without an increase.
But Republicans contended that the nation couldn't afford the estimated $14 billion cost of the one-time payment, and that the two-year freeze comes after seniors received a significant boost in 2009.
Cost-of-living adjustments are set automatically each year by an inflation measure that was adopted by Congress in 1975.
More than 58 million retirees, disabled people and surviving family members receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income checks.