Lawmakers Propose Bipartisan Committee To Seek Social Security Fixes


Two U.S. Representatives – Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) – have introduced legislation that would set up a bipartisan commission to seek legislative fixes to improve the solvency of Social Security’s disability and old age fund.

The disability fund is in dire shape and only a few years away from becoming insolvent.

Social Security’s old age fund, which pays out benefits to retired workers, is in much better long-term shape but still could be the target of changes.

From The Hill:

Cole said he and Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) have reintroduced legislation that would create a bipartisan 13-member commission that would work on a legislative solution to fix both Social Security funds and bring it to the House floor.


Cole said he and Delaney plan to present it to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the chairman of the Ways and Means panel, which is going on a retreat next week.

None of the lawmakers to whom The Hill spoke offered possible alternative solutions for replenishing the disability fund, but most agreed it’s an urgent matter.

“I think that legislation is warranted ASAP, which is a difficult thing to say in Washington,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.). “We need legislation within this year, within the next six months. There are enough folks I’ve talked to on both sides of the aisle who I think will get us to that point.”

Rep. Cole dropped some hints as to the policies the commission might propose. They include raising the retirement age and means-testing benefits. Cole told The Hill:

“The commission would probably gradually raise retirement age, it would probably look at chained CPI, would probably look at means-testing and probably look at some sort of revenue, or reduce benefits for upper-income people,” Cole said. “Then you have to vote.”

Of course, that would only be his idea of what the commission could accomplish. Some of those ideas are less likely to pass a bipartisan vote than others.


Photo by  Bob Jagendorf via FLickr CC License

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