WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy – on Friday issued the following statement on Social Security’s 80th anniversary.
“For the better part of a century, Social Security has been crucial to the financial security of millions of Americans of all income levels – including retirees, workers with disabilities, and children whose parents can no longer provide for them because of death or disability. While its benefits remain relatively modest, some in Washington are calling for cuts to Social Security.
“With less defined pensions and more seniors relying on Social Security for the majority of their incomes, we should be expanding Social Security instead of cutting it. Social Security’s continued success relies on Congress’s ability to work together. We must take steps to ensure that it remains strong for another eight decades and beyond.”
According to the 2015 annual trustees’ report, Social Security will be able to pay full benefits until 2034. The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Trust Fund can pay full benefits until 2017, at which point it will still cover 80 percent of benefits. Brown has pushed leadership in the House and Senate to abandon a partisan rule by the Republican House that would prevent Congress from using reallocation to rebalance Social Security’s trust funds – the equivalent of transferring money from a checking to a savings account. This practice, which has been used 11 times since 1957 with bipartisan support, would help strengthen SSDI.
In 2013, Social Security lifted 22 million Americans out of poverty, including more than 14 million seniors, more than eight million women, and more than one million children. The SSDI program is especially important to alleviating poverty, giving Americans under 64 peace of mind that they will not face abject poverty in the event of terrible injury or disability.
Brown opposes any efforts to cut Social Security benefits or raise the retirement age. Instead, he is leading efforts to increase benefits for seniors, change the cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) formula to reflect seniors’ true cost of living, and extend the solvency of the Social Security trust fund.