Senators say fixes to disability insurance not enough

Senators say fixes to disability insurance not enough

Two senators are urging the chamber's finance leaders to make fundamental fixes to disability insurance.

Sens. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordLawmakers toast Greta Van Susteren's new show McConnell support for election security funds leaves Dems declaring victory Election security funds passed by Senate seen as welcome first step MORE (R-Okla.) and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Energy: Perry to step down as Energy secretary | Future of big-game hunting council up in the air | Dems lose vote against EPA power plant rule Senate Dems lose forced vote against EPA power plant rule Schumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever MORE (D-W.Va.) are asking for reforms to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) that will protect the program from running out of money.

The senators wrote in a letter Thursday that SSDI fixes in last year's budget agreement were mere Band-Aids for the program's dire solvency issues.

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"A good faith effort needs to be undertaken ... to address the problems facing the program in total," wrote Lankford and Manchin in the letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and ranking member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

"We must work to strengthen this program so that it continues to be financially strong for the individuals who are truly in need."

Lankford and Manchin cited issues with the SSDI application process, overlaps with federal programs, persistent fraud and overpayment.

The federal government spent $882 billion on Social Security and Medicare alone in 2015. The Congressional Budget Office announced Monday that federal deficits are expected to grow by $100 billion this year, the first increase since 2009.