President Obama has put the new method, known as chained consumer price index, on the table in deficit talks with Republicans. Using it reduces entitlement benefits like Social Security over time and also raises revenues by reducing the value of tax breaks.
Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Energy: Trump orders review of national monuments, claiming ‘egregious abuse’ Dem rep: Trump's tax plan as believable as 'magic, unicorns or Batman' Sanders: Trump tax plan makes 'rigged' system 'worse' MORE (I-Vt.), Tom HarkinTom HarkinDistance education: Tumultuous today and yesterday Grassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream MORE (D-Iowa), Mazie HironoMazie HironoDem lawmaker to Sessions: 'You are a racist and a liar' March for Science rallies draw huge crowds around US Dems knock Trump on Earth Day MORE (D-Hawaii) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseComey to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee The Hill's 12:30 Report Dem: Pruitt violating anti-campaigning law with GOP fundraiser MORE (D-R.I.) sponsored the amendment.
Sen. Richard BurrRichard BurrBurr: US in new Cold War with Russia Senator: No signs of GOP 'slow-walking' Russia investigation GOP senator hits back at criticism of Russia probe MORE (R-N.C.) said he supported protecting veterans, but supported using chained CPI elsewhere.
“I support chained CPI, just like the president when it comes to entitlement reform,” he said.
Sanders pushed for a roll call vote, but was talked out of it by Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty MurrayPatty MurrayTrump said he would create ‘more jobs and better wages’ — he can start with federal contractors Sanders, Dems introduce minimum wage bill Week ahead: Senate panel to vote on Trump's FDA pick MORE (D-Wash.).
The Senate then voted on a proposal by Burr to create a new barrier to any proposal to raise taxes on veterans. The Murray budget calls for $1 trillion in new tax revenue and raising that amount--or any amount in the individual tax code--could effectively be blocked by the Burr provision, Democrats argued.
The Burr amendment was voted not germane to the bill by a 45 to 54 vote.
The powerful seniors lobbying group AARP hailed the vote.
“With the adoption of Senator Sanders’ amendment, the Senate makes clear the need to protect retirees, veterans and others from an unwarranted cut to their benefits. Much more than a mere technical adjustment or a ‘tweak,’ the chained CPI would, over the next ten years, take a combined $146 billion out of the pockets of America’s veterans and seniors who are already living on tight budgets," it said in a statement.
--This report was updated at 10:29 p.m.