Does the infrastructure bill hold more money for Social Security or unemployment benefits? – Community News
Social Security

Does the infrastructure bill hold more money for Social Security or unemployment benefits?

Reports on Monday suggest the White House is increasingly confident in holding a vote on the… dual infrastructure bill before the end of the week, after progressive lawmakers signaled they would support the trimmed-down proposal.

CNN reports that President Biden has assured progressive members in the House of Representatives that all 50 Democrats in the Senate are willing to vote for the larger $1.75 trillion social safety net bill.

Moderate Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin are both reluctant to lend their support to the larger package, but voted in favor of the infrastructure bill last week.

Will the infrastructure bill increase Social Security or unemployment benefits?

Neither of the two major reconciliation bills currently being considered in Congress includes additional funding for either Social Security (SS) or unemployment benefits. However, SS payments will increase next year, thanks to the 5.9% adjustment in the cost of living.

The infrastructure bill will get by $550 billion of new federal funding, with the vast majority to be spent on upgrading traditional infrastructure such as bridges, roads and utilities. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the bill will add about $256 billion to the national debt over the next decade.

The bill includes $110 billion for roads, bridges and other major projects; $39 billion to modernize public transportation networks; a $65 billion boost to broadband provision; and $170 billion to overhaul the country’s electricity and water infrastructure.

House Democrats Propose Alternative Social Security Funding

However, there are efforts in Congress to boost Social Security recipients. Rep. John Larson, a Connecticut Democrat and chair of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, has introduced a new bill called the Social Security 2100 Act.

The bill, also known as SS 2100: A Sacred Trust, is in response to Social Security Administration estimates that the trust funds supporting the program will dry up in just 13 years. Through 2034 it is believed that nearly a quarter of promised benefits will be unaffordable.

The bill would provide funding to see that deadline extended until 2038, giving Congress more time to find a solution. The legislation was co-sponsored by Senator Richard Blumenthal and people like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal both appeared with Larson to unveil the proposal.

Rep. Larson said of the proposals: “Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust will extend benefits and strengthen social security. The pandemic has only underlined what we already knew and exacerbated systemic inequalities – the current benefits are not enough.”

He added: “For too long Congress has abandoned its duty to increase benefits. With 10,000 baby boomers a day eligible, and with millennials needing Social Security more than any generation, the time for Congress to step in is now.”