Legislative Update for Week Ending February 1, 2019

Legislative Update for Week Ending February 1, 2019

This week, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) announced its support for new legislation that would strengthen and expand the Social Security program, and the federal government reopened after lawmakers and President Donald Trump approved a short-term continuing resolution (CR).

TSCL Endorses Social Security 2100 Act

This week, Congressman John Larson (CT-1) – Chairman of the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee – introduced the Social Security 2100 Act (H.R. 860) along with the support of more than two hundred original House cosponsors. Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT) also introduced the companion bill – S. 269 – in the Senate this week along with Senator Chris Van Hollen (MD).

If adopted, the bill would strengthen and reform the Social Security program responsibly, without enacting any benefit cuts for older or disabled Americans. Among other things, it would: boost Social Security benefits by 2 percent, protect against inflation by basing cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) on the CPI-E, create a new minimum benefit set at 125 percent of the poverty line, and cut taxes for over 12 million Social Security beneficiaries.

In addition, the Social Security 2100 Act would improve the program’s solvency by applying the payroll tax to income over $400,000 and by gradually increasing the payroll tax rate from 6.2 percent to 7.4 percent – an extra fifty cents per week for the average worker. These two modest changes would ensure that the Social Security program remains solvent through the year 2100 and beyond.

In a letter of endorsement, Art Cooper – Chairman of The Senior Citizens League’s Board of Trustees – wrote: “TSCL salutes you for introducing legislation that would make COLAs more accurate, reduce senior poverty by boosting monthly benefits, cut taxes for millions of beneficiaries, and ask wealthier Americans to contribute to the program more fairly. Together, these changes would strengthen Social Security benefits while extending the solvency of the trust funds for decades to come.”

The Senior Citizens League enthusiastically supports the Social Security 2100 Act and we look forward to working with Congressman Larson in the 116th Congress to help build additional support for his critically important bill. For progress updates, follow The Senior Citizens League on Twitter or visit the Bill Tracking section of our website.

Lawmakers End Partial Government Shutdown

This week, congressional leaders and President Donald Trump put an end to the partial federal government shutdown by approving a short-term CR that will reopen the government until Friday, February 15th.

A seventeen-member conference committee comprised of Democrats and Republicans from the House and Senate is currently working towards a long-term bipartisan deal to keep the federal government operating. Should they fail to reach a compromise before the looming deadline, it will shut down once again.

The Senior Citizens League is pleased that leaders in Washington have temporarily reopened the federal government, and we are hopeful that they will act responsibly in the days ahead to ensure that it remains fully funded. We will continue to monitor the negotiations closely in the coming days, and we will post updates here in the Legislative News section of our website.