House lawmakers to propose emergency 3% Social Security COLA boost

House Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and John Larson (D-CT) are expected to introduce new legislation today in response to the low COLA set by the Social Security Administration earlier this week.

DeFazio and Larson announced Wednesday they will be formally introducing the Emergency Social Security COLA for 2021 Act, a bill that would override the 1.3% COLA set for next year and boost 2021’s COLA to 3%.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, seniors are facing additional financial burdens in order to stay safe,” DeFazio explained in a press release on Wednesday. “This absolutely anemic COLA won’t even come close to helping them afford even their everyday expenses, let alone those exacerbated by COVID-19.”

The Social Security Administration’s 1.3% 2021 COLA increase would give the average beneficiary around $20 extra per month. It represents the second lowest COLA increase in Social Security history, excluding the three years there was no COLA boost at all.

“Social Security is our country’s number one financial security program, and, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are depending on it now more than ever,” Larson added. “Seniors are seeing a rise in food, medical, housing costs and more, and a 1.3 percent Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) is just not enough during these difficult times.”

Additionally, DeFazio and Larson have also teamed up to advocate for a complete overhaul of the Social Security program, including blanket benefit increases, a switch to the CPI-E in calculating COLA increases, and several measures to restore long-term financial solvency. They introduced the Social Security 2100 Act in the House in January of 2019 with massive Congressional support. The bill currently has 208 cosponsors.

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