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Regulation and Compliance > Legislation

Senate Democrats Vow to Protect Social Security, Press Biden to Fill Commissioner Seat

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Senate Democrats recently affirmed their commitment to protect and expand Social Security and are pressing President Joe Biden to fill the vacate commissioner and deputy commissioner seats at the Social Security Administration — which have been open for more than a year.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, chair of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy, introduced a resolution along with more than 30 other senators after they said several Republican members in the House and Senate have floated proposals to undermine the program.

The senators’ resolution is supported by Social Security Works and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. Dan Adcock, director of government relations and policy for the latter group, pointed to two Republican proposals that would put Social Security up for regular review despite the program being “self-funded by American workers”:

  • Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., has proposed turning Social Security and Medicare into discretionary spending programs that would require annual approval.
  • Rep. Rick Scott, R-Fla., has proposed to sunset all federal legislation every five years, including Social Security and Medicare, unless Congress voted to reauthorize them.

Open Seats

Brown along with Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and a dozen of their colleagues urged Biden in a letter to nominate a commissioner and deputy commissioner to serve at the Social Security Administration, which has been without permanent leadership for more than a year.

“Today Social Security covers over 179 million workers, and over 70 million people receive monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits,” the lawmakers wrote. “More than one out of every six U.S. residents collects Social Security benefits and older Americans make up about four out of every five beneficiaries.”

Recent U.S. Census Bureau reports show that Social Security “provides over half of the income for older adults, and nearly all of their income for one in four older adults,” the lawmakers said.


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