Ellison and liberal leaders request meeting with Obama on Social Security

WASHINGTON – Some of the most liberal members of Congress, including DFL U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, are asking for a meeting with President Barack Obama’s to discuss his proposal to change the price index used for calculating Social Security cost of living adjustments.

Obama’s proposal, known as chained CPI, is designed to reduce the cost of Social Security, reducing projected outlays by an estimated $127 billion over the next decade if implemented. Liberals argue the proposal amounts to a benefit cut for seniors and have loudly protested their concerns.

Ellison co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus which represents the Democrats’ most liberal wing. In a letter with five other members of Congress, they asked for time with Obama, who’s been courting Republicans lately, in order to lay out their concerns about the chained CPI proposal and to discuss alternatives, such as increasing the amount of income subject to Social Security taxes.

The lawmakers argue that while Obama is acting in good faith to strike an agreement with Republicans, the GOP is not a trustworthy negotiating partner.

“Republicans have a long history of seeking to privatize and diminish these programs,” the lawmakers write.

While Obama has put significant time into rebuilding relationships with members of Congress in recent months, most of those efforts have centered on the Senate and not on members of the House.