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Time to Vote on Social Security 2100 Bill: Rep. Larson

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Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., chairman of the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee, urged his fellow lawmakers Tuesday to vote on The Social Security 2100 Act: A Sacred Trust.

“There is a fierce urgency of now to vote on Social Security,” Larson said during a hearing on the bill. “Seniors, people with disabilities, widows, and other beneficiaries cannot wait. Americans can’t wait, it’s time to move Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust forward.”

Larson noted the hearing would be followed by a markup of the bill, but didn’t specify a date.

The bill, introduced on Oct. 26, adopts the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly as the basis of the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), applies the payroll tax to wages above $400,000, combines the Old-Age and Survivors and Disability Insurance trust funds, includes a 2% benefit bump.

The bill would extend the depletion date (when a 20% cut to benefits would occur) to 2038.

Social Security advocates echoed Larson’s call for a quick vote on the legislation.

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“It is urgent, indeed, imperative, that this Congress vote on expanding Social Security to address the nation’s looming retirement income crisis, as well as other challenges confronting our country,” Nancy Altman, president of Social Security Works, told House lawmakers during the Tuesday hearing.

The Social Security 2100 Act: A Sacred Trust “is a solution,” Altman said. “It will improve the economy, create jobs, and add substantially to the security of working families.”

Robert Roach, president of the Alliance for Retired Americans, told the lawmakers that the bill will help expand benefits for all Social Security beneficiaries, extend the solvency of the Social Security trust fund and improve the Social Security System. It is imperative that Congress act to enact the Social Security 2100 Act.”

Roach added that nearly 50% of retired Americans today “rely on Social Security for half their income, and one in four Americans over 65 rely on Social Security for 90% of their income.”

Max Richtman, president and CEO of National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, explained in his testimony that “Social Security has long been an extremely popular program across the political spectrum. It has provided security and financial stability for hard-working Americans irrespective of where they live, where they work or how much income they earn.”