John Garamendi

From the office of:

John Garamendi

Sending Office: Honorable John Garamendi
Sent By:

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Deadline for Originals COB Tuesday March 5th  

(115) Co-Sponsors: Cartwright, Carson, Carbajal, Cicilline, Christ, Cohen, Conyers, Cummings, Desaulnier, Deutch, Doyle, Ellison, Evans, Gohmert, Gonzalez, Grijalva, Hanabusa, Holmes Norton, Jackson-Lee, Jayapal, Kaptur, Kilmer, Langevin,
Lawson, Loebsack, Lofgren, Maloney, McCollum, McGovern, McNerney, Moulton, Napolitano, Norcross, Pingree, Pocan, Raskin, Ruppersberger, Sablan, Shea-Porter, Slaughter, Speier, Suozzi, Swalwell, Takano, Torres, Wasserman Schultz, Watson-Coleman, Welch, Veasey,

Endorsed by: Social Security Works, Senior Citizens League, Alliance for Retired Americans, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, Justice in Aging, National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, AFSCME,
International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America, UAW, National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives, American Federation of Teachers, and NAACP.

Dear Colleague,

Please join me as an original cosponsor of legislation that responds to the rising expenditures for our elderly.

The CPI-E Act of 2017 proposes using the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) to calculate cost of living adjustments (COLAs) for federal retirement programs. The consumption patterns of seniors are different from those of younger people. Using the
CPI-E will ensure that benefits for retirees are not diluted by disproportionately rising costs in sectors affecting seniors. The proposed index would adjust the benefits programs such as Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, civil service retirement,
military retirement, veterans’ pensions and compensations, and other retirement programs.

The CPI-E is the most accurate and balanced measure of the real costs that seniors face in retirement. Current measures do not adequately take into account the rising expenditures of retirement, such as housing and healthcare costs. This inadequate accounting
amounts to an effective decrease in benefits for those who rely on these federal programs. The proposed change will lead to increased COLAs, ensuring that seniors are able to keep up with the rising costs of their real world expenses. This provision reflects
the sense that the benefits structure of all federal retirement programs should assume inflation and costs are realistic. Under the CPI-E the COLA for 2017 would be 2.1%, instead of .3%.

From December 1982 through December 2011, the CPI-E rose at an annual average rate of 3.1 percent, compared with increases of 2.9 percent for both the CPI-U and CPI-W. This suggests that the elderly have been losing purchasing power at the rate of roughly
0.2 percentage points per year by federal retirement programs not using the CPI-E. In 2013, national health care spending in the United States averaged $9,255 per person, an 89.5 percent increase from the amount in 2000.

Programs that will be improved through the CPI-E Act of 2017:

• Civil Service Retirement System

• Old-age, survivors, or disability insurance under Social Security

• Federal Employees’ Retirement System

• Department of Veterans Affairs wartime disability compensation

• Department of Veterans Affairs additional compensation for dependents, clothing allowance, and indemnity and dependency compensation for dependents and surviving spouses

• Military retirement and survivor benefit programs

The CPI-E Act of 2017 will replace the inappropriate indices currently being used by federal retirement programs with the CPI-E, which is tailored specifically to better reflect seniors’ consumption patterns.

To become a cosponsor or if you have any questions please contact Bradley Bottoms in my office at


Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Finance, Government, Social Security

icon eDC logo e-Dear Colleague version 2.0
e-Dear Colleagues are intended for internal House use only.