House bill to give seniors $250 is defeated

The House has rejected a Democratic effort topay Social Security recipients $250 to make up for the lack of acost-of-living increase for next year.

Democrats argued that the payment was needed to offset thehardships of seniors facing a second consecutive year without anincrease.

But Republicans contended that the nation couldn't afford theestimated $14 billion cost of the one-time payment, and that thetwo-year freeze comes after seniors received a significant boost in2009.

Cost-of-living adjustments are set automatically each year by aninflation measure that was adopted by Congress in 1975. More than58 million retirees, disabled people and surviving family membersreceive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income checks.

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