Dems warn of Social Security cuts

Democrats are pressing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellValerie Jarrett slams GOP for not including women in healthcare discussions Healthcare wish lists: What moderates, conservatives want Top GOP lawmaker questions tax break for wealthy in healthcare plan 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 DurbinGraham gets frustrated in public ‘unmasking’ debate Senate Dems set principles for potential budget negotiation Dem senator: GOP's healthcare approach will 'devastate Medicaid' 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 SandersNew Alexandra Pelosi documentary brings together GOP, Dem members Sanders: FBI inquiry of wife is 'pathetic' attack Why UK millennials voting for socialism could happen here, too 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.”