By Alexander Bolton - 01/12/15 11:59 AM EST
Democrats are pressing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellShutdown risk grows over Flint Senate poised to override Obama veto Overnight Finance: Four days left to avert shutdown | Conservative group bucks spending bill | Lawmakers play catch-up on smartphone banking MORE (R-Ky.) to repudiate a rules change by House Republicans that could cut Social Security disability payments by 20 percent.
House Republicans last week included language in their new rules for the 114th Congress making it more difficult to allocate payroll tax revenues to replenish the Social Security Disability Trust Fund, which is due to run out of money in 2016.
They warned that nearly 11 million Americans could see their benefits cut if Congress does not take action in the next two years.
“House Republicans acted according to their extreme ideology and put these benefits at risk by adopting a legislative rule change that creates a point of order against simple bipartisan technical corrections,” they wrote.
They noted that Congress has reallocated taxes between the Social Security retirement and trust funds 11 times in the past.
It last did so in 1994 without facing any significant opposition from Democrats or Republicans.
The trust funds were rebalanced four times under President Reagan, the Democrats noted.
“It is cynical to try and pit retirees and beneficiaries with disabilities against each other, as the House Republican rule change attempts to do,” they wrote.
Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinSpending bill doesn't include Cruz internet fight Overnight Tech: GOP says internet fight isn't over | EU chief defends Apple tax ruling | Feds roll out self-driving car guidelines | Netflix's China worries Reid blasts Cruz over internet fight MORE (Ill.), Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Finance Committee ranking Democrat Ron Wyden (Ore.) signed the letter.
Other signatories included Democratic Sens. Patty Murray (Wash.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), and Bernie SandersBernie SandersDebate of century lives up to its billing Trump: It's not certain Russia hacked DNC Sanders warns: Debate is not ‘entertainment show’ MORE (Vt.), a liberal independent weighing a presidential bid.
“Holding hostage the Social Security benefits of any American, particularly those of the 9 million Americans with disabilities who are at risk in the coming years, is an untenable proposition,” they wrote. “It only increases the chances of yet another unnecessary manufactured crisis, akin to shutting down the government or threatening the full faith and credit of the United States.”