Social Security: Will Democrats Suffer in 2014 Races?

14 April 2013 |permalink | email article

President Obama’s proposal to cut Social Security benefits have raised serious concerns about a growing number of House Democrats who believe that the party could suffer in the mid-term elections, Although Democrats have long-championed the retirement program, they say that Obama ‘s plan to reduce payments through a chained consumer index (CPI) has weakened their stance and opened the door for Republicans to vilify the president. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), the leader of the campaign arm for House Republicans, called Obama’s plan a “shocking attack on seniors.”

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D.Md.), the former head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told The Hill that Walden’s comments foreshadow a line of attack the GOP will use on the campaign trail next years. It’s a reason, he added, for Democrats to worry. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-New Jersey), said Obama’s Social Security proposal was a gift to Republicans that could single-handedly kill any chance the party had in regaining the Speaker’s gavel in 2014. But Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) argued that Republicans’ track record on Social Security—which includes the failed effort by President George W. Bush to privatize the program—would make it “immensely” for GOP leaders to make an effective campaign strategy out of Obama’s proposal.   

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