Wednesday, January 21, 2015

McCaskill: We can't let Republicans hold Social Security hostage

(From Sen. Claire McCaskill)

When I became the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate's Committee on Aging, I pledged to protect Social Security benefits from partisan extremists.

I didn't have to wait long before I got a chance.

House Republicans just passed a small rule change that could be a big deal -- it could allow them to hold Social Security benefits for veterans, children, and more hostage to 20 percent cuts.

I joined several of my colleagues, including Senators Chuck Schumer, Debbie Stabenow, Sherrod Brown, and Patty Murray, to make sure Senate Republican leadership knows how important it is to reject this kind of rule change. But if they don't think anyone's watching, they might try to sneak it through, too.

We can't let Congressional Republicans hold vital Social Security benefits hostage. Join me and my colleagues speaking out by signing our special petition at now.

Sometime before the end of 2016, Congress needs to reallocate funds between the Social Security retirement side and the disability side. That's how the program is set up right now.

Democrats and Republicans have routinely agreed to do this in the past, in both directions, including four times under President Reagan alone.

But the House Republican rule change cynically tries to pit beneficiaries with disabilities and retirees against each other, holding hostage the Social Security benefits of nine million Americans with disabilities who are at risk in the coming years.

It's an untenable proposition. Republican Senate leadership must speak out and forcefully reject this extremist, partisan rule and take this reckless concept off the table in order to assure Americans with disabilities that they can count on their government to act responsibly.

Sign our special joint petition at now and help show Republican Senate leaders it's their responsibility to reject this reckless concept.

This rule only increases the chances of yet another unnecessary manufactured crisis, akin to shutting down the government or threatening the full faith and credit of the United States. But we can stop going down this road to crisis and 20 percent benefit cuts if we join together to show united opposition.
Thanks for your support today,

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