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'Unacceptable': Democrats Sound Off on 'Chained' CPI Proposal

Democrats in the House are speaking out against a proposed Social Security COLA cut known as the “chained” CPI, which would severely harm the elderly and people with disabilities.

Here are some highlights and videos of written and public statements:

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Boehner’s Plan for Fiscal Showdown—Cut Social Security COLA to Pay for More Tax Cuts for the Rich

Boehner’s Plan for Fiscal Showdown—Cut Social Security COLA to Pay for More Tax Cuts for the Rich

On Sunday night, House Speaker John Boehner made clear he would like to make a simple trade with President Obama. He asked the president to extend tax cuts on income between $250,000 and $1 million a year—a tax bonanza of nearly $400 billion over 10 years, about half of which would go to millionaires.  

Call the White House at 202-456-1111; tell President Obama you oppose the "chained" CPI.

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'Right to Work' for Less Laws Have Racist Origins

Last week, after Michigan became the latest state to pass "right to work" for less legislation, many began to dig into the history of such laws and discovered that one of the earliest pushes for "right to work" came from an extreme right-wing activist Vance Muse, who was staunchly anti-communist, anti-integration and anti-union. Muse was the leader of the Christian American Association, an organization that fought to pass "right to work" in more than a dozen states in the 1940s.

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The Fiscal Cliff and Odd Bedfellows

What a strange turn of events.  If we are to believe the leaks on the deal being cut for the fiscal cliff, it appears that President Obama’s agenda was narrow—restore fiscal sanity by upping the tax rates on very high earners. In the process, he appears ready to concede to House Speaker John Boehner a Republican plan to alter Social Security benefits recommended by the Simpson-Bowles commission. What an odd legacy the president would be leaving. The cut in Social Security benefits that Boehner proposes would have a disparate impact on African Americans, the group that voted most vociferously against the Republican world view. One would think the president’s agenda going into the fiscal cliff negotiations would be to remind those who worked hard for his election why it mattered he won.

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Snyder Set to Veto Bill Allowing Concealed Weapons in School

UPDATE: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) did veto the bill to allow concealed weapons in schools and other public venues. State Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D) said, “I am thankful that common sense has prevailed and that Gov. Snyder has vetoed this terribly misguided legislation.”

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder today will veto a just-passed bill that allows licensed concealed weapons permit holders to carry their weapons into current “gun-free zones” such as schools, churches, arenas, hospitals and other specified locations.

In a letter to Snyder following the Connecticut school shooting where 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, AFT President Randi Weingarten and Michigan AFT President David Hecker wrote Snyder and urged him to veto the legislation.

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Cohen: We Need Senate Rules Reform

Illustration by DonkeyHotey/Flickr

This post originally appeared at The Huffington Post.

For several years now, the Communications Workers of America has been working with Fix the Senate Now, a broad coalition of democracy, community, women, faith-based and civil rights groups that are fed up with a Senate that functions more like Cicero's Senate of ancient Rome than a 21st century democracy. Despite being considered the world's model deliberative body, in reality it's a place where little gets done because of the abuse of the Senate rules. This isn't news.

Pick up the phone right now and urge your Senator to support Senate Rules Reform. Call 1-888-966-9836 or text RULESREFORM to 69866. 

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Chained CPI: The Younger You Are, the Bigger the Cut

Photo from a lame-duck Social Security rally in Wisconsin.

One of the proposals floated for months in the fiscal bluff debate in Washington, D.C., is a change to the formula used to measure inflation for Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) called the "chained" CPI. Let's be clear: This is a benefit cut. These COLAs make sure seniors' income keeps pace with the rising costs of housing and food. The "chained" CPI would cut future Social Security benefits by as much as $2,432 for someone who is 17 years old today. Studies from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) show that not only is the "chained" CPI a benefit cut, it eventually will lead to higher taxes for most working people.

Young people around the country have been speaking out on the fiscal showdown. Check out this roundup of blog posts and see what it means to them.

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Trumka: 'Republicans Are Once Again Demanding Benefit Cuts to Pay for Tax Cuts'

"Republicans are once again demanding benefit cuts to pay for tax cuts, and threatening to harm the economy unless they get their way," said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in a statement today

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Trumka: Hawaii’s Inouye ‘Exemplified America’s Values’

Photo courtesy of Sen. Inouye's office.

Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), 88, who served the Aloha State in Congress for more than 50 years, died Monday in Bethesda, Md. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Inouye “was the person every American aspires to be.”

His courage under fire, visionary leadership and love for his country and his constituents are an inspiration for everyone. From a war hero to a United States senator, Sen. Inouye exemplified America’s values. He fought valiantly, broke down barriers and was a fierce advocate for what is right and good. Our nation lost an American hero yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

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Capitol Hill Action Fights Calls to Cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid

Photo by Ianthe Metzger

Amid reports that negotiations over the so-called “fiscal cliff” include possible cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other vital lifelines that families count on, worker activists are rallying on Capitol Hill today. They are calling on Congress to fight back against cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and to insist that lawmakers ensure the nation’s wealthiest pay their fair share in taxes.

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