At a Wednesday press briefing at the Capitol, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi acknowledged she’s disappointed with aspects of President Obama’s latest fiscal cliff proposal, and has encouraged her members to speak out against it, to prevent further concessions.
But she defended Obama from critics on the left who’ve pointed out that his proposal includes a Social Security benefit cut.
“I’ve said to the members, ‘express yourselves,’” Pelosi said. “Speak out against — because I’m not thrilled with the President’s proposal. It’s what it is in order to save the day. But that doesn’t mean that we all identify with every aspect of it. So they go forth with my blessing.”
Pelosi was responding to a question about Obama’s main concession to House Speaker John Boehner: a measure called Chained CPI that would re-index Social Security payments to a lower level of inflation.
Though Chained CPI would reduce lifetime benefits relative to the current cost of living adjustment formula, Pelosi said she does not consider it a benefit cut.
“No, I don’t,” consider it a benefit cut, she said. “I consider it a strengthening of Social Security.”
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at email@example.com.