Politics

Obama backs $250 checks for seniors

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter

President Barack Obama is urging Congress to act quickly on a measure that would provide a $250 payment to seniors.

The effort comes in response to news that the Social Security Administration, for a second straight year, will not add a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to the checks it sends out. Last year, Congress authorized a one-time $250 payment for Social Security recipients.

“Many seniors are struggling in the face of the economic downturn, having seen their savings fall,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs stated Friday, pointing to the absence of a COLA. He also touted the benefits of last years “Economic Recovery Payments.”

Gibbs also praised House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for saying she would bring the measure to a vote.

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget President Maya MacGuineas objected to sending seniors a check, adding that the issue is “ripe for political pandering.”

“The truth is, seniors don’t need a raise based on inflation this year because inflation has been so low,” MacGuineas stated. “They actually got an artificially high raise last time around so they are faring better than many others in this economy who haven’t benefited from generous raises.”