WASHINGTON — President Reagan agreed today to back an election-year effort to boost Social Security benefits by removing the inflation "trigger" that permits annual increases only when the cost-of-living rises more than 3%, Sen. Paula Hawkins (R-Fla.) said.
Hawkins, up for reelection this year in a state heavily populated by retirees, told reporters outside the White House after a brief meeting with Reagan that he "agrees with me (and) will approve this."
White House spokesman Albert R. Brashear acknowledged that Reagan agreed to the proposal. He said he could not estimate how much it would add to the federal deficit.
Hawkins, who noted that 23% of her Florida constituents live on fixed incomes, claimed that the benefit increase would not add to the deficit but would actually be a "saving." She did not explain how.