One of the bills within the GOP’s economic aid plan, dubbed the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act, would fast-track Social Security and Medicare cuts, according to Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore.
The Time to Rescue United States’ Trusts (TRUST) Act of 2020, introduced Monday as part of the GOP’s HEALS Act, calls for the creation of bipartisan committees and an expedited rulemaking process intended to speed up legislation to improve the solvency of Social Security and Medicare.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., stated Monday in unveiling the HEALS Act that the Trust Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, is included in Republicans’ HEALS package.
“Senator Romney has legislation to help a future Congress ensure our critical national trust funds remain strong,” McConnell said.
Wyden argued that “Instead of helping Americans who are struggling to pay rent and keep food on the table, Republicans want to put cuts to Social Security and Medicare in the fast lane” through the TRUST Act.
The bill, Wyden said, “doubles down on a failed formula of using secret, closed-door panels to dramatically undo these earned benefits. … Pursuing this approach is bad policy in the best of times, but during a pandemic and economic crisis it spells disaster. I will oppose any legislation that includes a fast lane to Social Security and Medicare cuts.”
While Democrats’ negotiations with the White House started Monday night, “the Republican proposal is not an adequate starting point,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor Tuesday.
Schumer reiterated his complaints that the multi-bill Republican plan is not a “unified” plan. “Instead of presenting a single, unified bill, Republicans released several separate drafts last night, and there might be more today,” Schumer said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said late Monday that “after waiting for two months, now they [Republicans] come back piecemeal.” The HEALS plan “isn’t serious,” she said.
Schumer stated that he and Pelosi would continue talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows again Tuesday night “in an effort to try and get a bill.”