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Senate votes against chained CPI? 100. Senate votes for chained CPI? 0.

As Dean Baker notes:

Both the New York Times and Washington Post decided to ignore the Senate's passage by voice vote of the Sanders Amendment. This was an amendment to the budget put forward by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders that puts the Senate on record as opposing the switch to the chained CPI as the basis for the annual Social Security cost of living adjustment (COLA).

This is why the vote on the Sanders amendment should have been newsworthy. Here was an opportunity for all the senators who have explicitly or implicitly supported the adoption of the chained CPI to step up and say why the switch to the chained CPI was a good and necessary measure. However, not one senator was prepared to stand up and argue the case. Not one member of the senate wanted to go on record in support of this cut to Social Security.

With all the Republicans who pronounce endlessly on the need to cut entitlement spending, there was not a single Republican senator who was prepared to say that switching the Social Security COLA to a chained CPI was a good idea. And even though President Obama has repeatedly stated as clearly as he could that he supported the switch to a chain CPI, there was not one Democratic senator who was prepared to stand up and speak in solidarity with the president.

This is a clear case of the elite lining up together against the bases of both political parties. If the chained CPI were put to a vote of the people it would lose in a landslide. But the elites are prepared to use their control of the political process and the media to do everything they can to push this cut forward.

Nice piece, except there's one thing Baker forgot to mention:

Obama -- and I know this will come as a shock to you -- is lined up on the "elite" side.

NOTE I don't think the Sanders Amendment will come to much of anything. After all, the Senate voted against the Catfood Commission too, and Obama went ahead with it anyhow, by Executive Order.

No votes yet


Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

It was all kayfabe. From the article:
The vote on the amendment was by voice vote, so its usefulness in quantifying Senate opposition to the proposal is minimal. The amendment is non-binding because it is attached to the budget resolution, which does not have the force of law.

Also too:
Sanders pushed for a roll call vote, but was talked out of it by Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wa).