Liberal Democrats, too, were on edge about Obama’s offer on the inflation measure, known as the chained consumer price index, or chained CPI. Obama tentatively embraced the change in budget negotiations with Boehner in the summer of 2011. Since then, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and other Democrats have rejected the proposal, insisting that the solvency of Social Security should be addressed separately from the year-end negotiations.
Obama is seeking adjustments to blunt the impact on the very old and the infirm. His offer proposes to exclude disability payments, known as Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, and to provide a bump-up in benefits for retirees who reach age 85, Democrats said.
Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), who organized 57 House Democrats to sign a letter last week urging Obama and congressional leaders to protect Social Security, nonetheless argued that adopting chained CPI would result in “serious benefit cuts for recipients, particularly for our seniors and the disabled.”