Dems warn of Social Security cuts

Democrats are pressing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellStudy: Trump tops recent GOP presidents in signing bills in first 100 days Senate passes stopgap funding bill to avert shutdown Let’s never talk about a government shutdown — ever again 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.

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“We are deeply concerned that the rule change in the House will impact millions of Social Security beneficiaries,” Democratic leaders and liberals wrote in a letter sent Monday to McConnell.  

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 DurbinCongress should stand for consumers and repeal the Durbin Amendment Lawmakers reintroduce online sales tax bills Democrats exploring lawsuit against Trump 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 SandersObama makes 0K for speech at A&E event: report Van Jones: Obama should do ‘poverty tour’ Sanders calls for renewed focus on fighting climate change 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.”