Ted Deutch Brings Back the Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act

Insisting it will “extend the solvency of Social Security and ensure that seniors continue to benefit from the programs they have worked for throughout their lives,” this week, U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., brought back the “Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act.”

Deutch’s office offered some of the reasons why he introduced the bill again and what it would do.

“This bill will make significant progress toward extending the Social Security lifeline. According to the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Chief Actuary, the Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act is expected to extend the date of projected depletion of the OASI and DI Trust Fund Reserves from 2035 to 2052. The bill would also reduce the federal deficit by approximately $12.3 trillion by the end of the 75-year projection period,” Deutch’s office noted.

“The Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act will strengthen the system so qualified recipients get the benefits they deserve now and for decades to come, while also making sure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share. The Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act aims to improve the Social Security system’s fairness, solvency, and benefits. The bill uses the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CIP-E) to calculate the relevant cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). This ensures the appropriate weight is given to the real costs in American seniors’ personal budgets. It also ensures the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share by phasing out the cap on Social Security contributions over the next seven years and encouraging contributions above the cap in exchange for additional benefits. Finally, for the first time, the bill pro-rates the benefit for the month of death, so Americans struggling with a loss no longer have to return their loved one’s last Social Security check,” Deutch’s office added.

“Social Security ensures that hardworking Americans can retire with dignity,” said Deutch who is retiring from Congress this year to take over the American Jewish Committee (AJC) . “And yet, this crucial lifeline is on track for depletion by 2035. Every day, I hear stories from seniors in my district about the importance of their Social Security checks to their quality of life and to their day to day survival. This bill will not only continue these lifesaving benefits but strengthen them for decades to come.”

Deutch insisted his proposal offered a “critical change” and pointed to his constituents’ experiences.

“We heard stories of families in our districts, coping with the loss of their loved one, who were suddenly unable to pay bills for beneficiaries who died late in the month. The survivors were forced to return their family members’ last checks, and their survivor benefits were not sufficient to cover costs. This was alarming. Social Security remains one of the most important programs for about 65 million Americans, who rely on it to pay for rent, caretakers, and other non-negotiable costs. This change to the bill will ensure that beneficiaries’ survivors have one less thing to worry about when facing the monumental loss of a family member,” Deutch said.

U.S. Reps. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, and John Sarbanes, D-Mary., are co-sponsoring the bill which was sent to the U.S. House Ways and Means; the Energy and Commerce; and the Education and Labor Committees.

Over in the U.S. Senate, U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, is championing the proposal.

“Social Security is a cornerstone of our nation’s social safety net that helps millions of seniors, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable Americans pay for essentials like food and housing,” said Hirono this week.”While our country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting increase in cost of living expenses, people deserve to know Congress won’t ever let these benefits—which people have worked for throughout their lives—dry up.

U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Oreg., and Tina Smith, D-Minn., are co-sponosring Hirono’s bill which was sent to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

Social Security Work, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and the Alliance for Retired Americans are backing the legislation.

Kevin Derby
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