Bill to strengthen social security discussed in House – Community News
Social Security

Bill to strengthen social security discussed in House

House lawmakers and a panel of experts discussed the merits of a bill that aims to strengthen Social Security while introducing a general increase in benefits for current and new beneficiaries.

The Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security held a hearing on the Social Security 2100 Act, which was reintroduced in October by Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., the chairman of the subcommittee.

The bill, a version of which was last introduced and discussed in 2019, would increase payments for current and new beneficiaries by about 2%; set a new minimum benefit at 25% above the poverty line to protect low-income workers; and end the current five-month waiting period to receive disability benefits.

To pay for the improvements, the bill would apply the payroll tax to wages over $400,000, affecting the top 0.4% of wage earners, according to a fact sheet from Mr. Larson’s office. According to the fact sheet, no payroll taxes are currently collected on wages over $142,800.

“Certainly, this bill is a first step, a huge and important step for those who need it most and whose safety and livelihoods are at stake pending a Congressional decision,” Mr Larson said at the time. hearing. “While I may have preferred a more comprehensive law, we must not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Now is the time to act.”

Collectively, Social Security trust funds — one that covers retirees and their families and one that covers disabled workers and their families — will run out of money by 2034, according to the Social Security administrators’ latest annual report released in August. By itself, the retiree trust fund has an expected depletion date of 2033, a year ahead of the 2020 projection. The disability insurance trust fund is expected to be depleted by 2057 — eight years ahead of a 2020 estimate.

Republicans on the committee agreed that Congress should take action on Social Security, but do not support Mr Larson’s bill largely because of the proposed tax hike.

“While we may not agree on what should be done, Chairman Larson and I are in complete agreement that the cost of delay is in agreement,” said Rep. Tom Reed, RN.Y., the subcommittee. ranking member. “The longer we wait to get this resolved, the more draconian the solution will look. For those on the left, that could mean bigger and more painful payouts, and for those on the right, even more devastating tax increases that harm workers, employers and make it much harder for our children and grandchildren to find success.”

Most of the nine witnesses who testified before the subcommittee supported the bill and said Congress must act urgently to pass it, though two witnesses from conservative think tanks denounced it and said it would not solvable the program. to make.