Dems warn of Social Security cuts

Democrats are pressing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSherrod Brown backs new North American trade deal: 'This will be the first trade agreement I've ever voted for' McConnell: Bevin pardons 'completely inappropriate' House panel to hold hearing, vote on Trump's new NAFTA proposal 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinLawmakers introduce bill taxing e-cigarettes to pay for anti-vaping campaigns Senators zero in on shadowy court at center of IG report Senate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial 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 SandersDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Buttigieg releases list of campaign bundlers Reject National Defense Authorization Act, save Yemen instead 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.”