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Angle camp accuses Reid of trying to buy seniors’ votes

Sharron Angle’s GOP campaign is accusing U.S. Sen. Harry Reid of trying to "buy the votes of seniors" by offering one-time $250 checks to Social Security recipients.

Reid said he and other Democrats would offer the legislation to authorize the checks during the post-eleciton lame duck session in Congress.

The proposed $250 checks are supposed to make up for seniors not getting an automatic cost-of-living increase for the second year in a row. The so-called COLAs are tied to inflation, and Social Security administrators said the increased payments aren’t necessary because prices haven’t gone up enough.

Angle campaign spokesman Jarrod Agen criticized the Senate majority leader’s proposal two weeks before the Nov. 2 election as a bid for ballots in his tight race with Angle.

"This is a desperate attempt by Harry Reid to try and buy the votes of seniors," Agen said. "Harry Reid is hoping he can fool seniors into forgetting about what Reid’s Obamacare bill will do to seniors’ health care and to make them forget about what he has already done to the economy as a whole. Nevada seniors are smarter than to fall for Reid’s ploy."

Reid, speaking Monday at his campaign headquarters, said he was proposing the $250 checks so that seniors dependent on Social Security don’t suffer.

"Social Security recipients, with rare exception, struggle every day," Reid said. "For so many people this is all they have to live on."

In contrast, Reid slammed Angle for saying she wanted to "phase out" Social Security and move to privatize the system. She has since softened her stance, saying current beneficiaries should continue under the existing program while also giving people the option to open personalized retirement accounts instead.

Reid couldn’t say how he would pay for his $250 checks proposal, which could cost at least $13 billion, according to various reports. He suggested one idea might be to do away with tax breaks for companies that move facilities over seas, something he said Angle is for.

The Angle campaign said the Senate already rejected Reid’s idea last March 3 by a bipartisan vote, "but the reasan Harry is promising this now is because he is behind in the polls and he is shamelessly trying to buy votes."

"The fact of the matter is this idea would add $14 billion to the debt and is another example of Harry spending money the government doesn’t have," Agen said.

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