Sen. Mark WarnerMark WarnerHollywood, DC come together for First Amendment-themed VIP party IT modernization bill reintroduced in Congress Want to grow the economy? Make student loan repayment assistance tax-free. MORE (D-Va.), a member of the Senate Gang of Six budget negotiators, said Sunday on “Face the Nation” that tackling Social Security's solvency remains on the table for the group.
The Gang of Six is attempting to put the December recommendations of the bipartisan fiscal commission into law. Social Security does not contribute to deficit spending since it draws benefits from a separate trust fund, but the fiscal commission sought to ward off a solvency crisis for Social Security after 2037 by raising the retirement age while reducing benefits.
"Part of this is just math," Warner explained, noting that the ratio of retirees to working-age Americans paying into the Social Security system is changing dramatically.
The 2012 budget passed by the House on Friday does not include reforms for Social Security. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul RyanDems, not trusting Trump, want permanent ObamaCare fix Kudlow: Trump's tax plan 'a home run' Samantha Bee roasts Trump at mock correspondents' dinner MORE (R-Wis.) instead called for a trigger in the budget whereby the president and Congress would have to propose solutions once the Board of Trustees certifies the program is in trouble. Presidet Obama in his 2012 budget and in a speech last week did not lay out plans to reform Social Security.
Warner said the Gang is “very close” to an agreement that includes spending cuts and tax increases.
“We are going to make everybody mad with our approach,” he said.
Warner made clear that he is opposed to the House Republican 2012 budget's reliance on cuts to Medicare — he called it a “massive transfer of responsibility onto our seniors” — but he did not say how the Gang of Six will approach the massive entitlement program.
Warner said that last week's deficit speech by President Obama “laid out his vision, in real stark contrast” to the Ryan plan.
He said that he does not want the past week's speech and reaction by Republicans to distract both sides from compromise.
“What I hope is that this doesn't devolve into Democrats versus Republicans,” he said, noting that that led to an eleventh-hour fight over 2011 spending that he found embarrassing.
There are three Republicans on the Gang of Six: Sens. Saxby ChamblissSaxby ChamblissGOP hopefuls crowd Georgia special race Democrats go for broke in race for Tom Price's seat Spicer: Trump will 'help the team' if needed in Georgia special election MORE (Ga.), Tom CoburnTom CoburnFreedom Caucus saved Paul Ryan's job: GOP has promises to keep Don't be fooled: Carper and Norton don't fight for DC Coburn: Trump's tweets aren't presidential MORE (Okla.) and Mike CrapoMike CrapoBattle begins over Wall Street rules Lawmakers call for pilot program to test for energy sector vulnerabilities Senators war over Wall Street during hearing for Trump's SEC pick MORE (Idaho); and three Democrats: Sens. Dick DurbinDick DurbinCongress should stand for consumers and repeal the Durbin Amendment Lawmakers reintroduce online sales tax bills Democrats exploring lawsuit against Trump MORE (Ill.), Kent Conrad (N.D.) and Warner.