Not Enough Thirst in Congress for Ad Hoc COLA

Today legislation to provide $250 payments to Social Security recipients in lieu of a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) failed to garner enough votes in either chamber. The Social Security Trustees announced earlier this year that there would be no COLA because prices have not risen above the level of the last increase in 2009. The bill would have cost $14 billion.

The House fell short of the 2/3 majority required to advance the bill under suspension of the rules on a 254-153 vote. A short while later the Senate failed to muster the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster on the same measure by a 53-45 vote.

CRFB urged lawmakers to reject the increase we saw as political pandering and called it “a litmus test for fiscal responsibility.” While the tax cut deal reached this week will increase the debt by far more than the ad hoc COLA would, the COLA vote represents a small victory for fiscal sanity.