House Dems seek action on COLA shortfall in lame-duck

"I believe that members will be energized when we return to Washington in November to quickly pass legislation that will help seniors, who would otherwise face a second year with no increase in Social Security benefits," the congressman said in prepared remarks.

No increase in Social Security payments is projected in 2011 due to negative growth in the Consumer Price Index. There was also no COLA adjustment in 2010. 

Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) has also called on Democratic leaders to schedule an immediate vote to provide a COLA adjustment to recipients, as well as extend Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class. 

"We should be able to put aside our partisan differences and all agree that we need to do more to protect seniors and middle-class families," Bishop said in prepared remarks. "I have a real problem with no cost of living adjustment for Social Security recipients. While inflation may not have decreased, seniors' primary expenses — food, medicine, and energy — all have increased. If the formula we're using says they haven't, then we need to change the formula." 

Bishop is a co-sponsor of Pomeroy's bill, the Seniors Protection Act.

He is also a co-sponsor of the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers Act, which creates a new CPI that is weighted toward the expenditures most typical for elderly Americans and uses that index to calculate annual COLAs. 

No Republican supports Pomeroy's bill, but eight conservatives back the Elderly Act.