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107 Dems try to take entitlement cuts off the table

Concerned that a potential deal to defuse the looming sequestration cuts will include cuts to social safety-net programs, 107 House Democrats sent a letter to President Obama today calling on him to oppose any entitlement benefit reductions, including switching to the so-called chained CPI. It’s by far the largest number that have come out against the CPI cut, and it represents a majority of the Democratic Caucus in the lower chamber.

Republicans are demanding entitlement reform as part of a deal to avert the sequester, the planned spending cuts that will go into effect next month unless Congress acts. So far, neither Obama nor Senate Democrats have endorsed any cuts to the social safety-net programs, and the White House has specifically ruled out raising the Medicare eligibility age, but liberals fear Democratic leaders will give in on the chained CPI in order to win GOP support.

“I am concerned about it. We’ve got to remain vigilant; that’s why we wrote this letter,” Rep. Keith Ellison, the Chairman of the House Progressive Caucus, told Salon. Rep. Jan Schakowsky spearheaded the letter.

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