Groups Blast GOP Budget Over 'Death Panel' for Social Security

U.S. Capitol in front of money

New Commission ‘Much Weaker’

Maria Freese, senior legislative representative for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, said in an email to ThinkAdvisor that the new version of a commission included in the draft House budget resolution “is actually much weaker than most as it has no enforcement mechanism. Most other commissions include fast-track procedures to force votes on the House and Senate Floor without giving time for the public to understand what they are doing.”

While the language in the budget resolution doesn’t allow for fast-tracking or bypassing the legislative process, NCPSM worries that if a commission is created through legislative action it could include those provisions.

McCarthy, Freese explained, “could create this kind of commission any time he wanted to — and in fact he suggested he would earlier this year — assuming he could get Democrats willing to serve on it.”

Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League, said in another email Tuesday that a Point of Order on page 44 of the draft proposal “restricts changes to mandatory programs to $15 billion” in fiscal year 2024. “That would rule out boosting benefits and potentially make it difficult to raise payroll taxes,” Johnson said.

Payroll taxes are Social Security’s primary funding mechanism.

Maya MacGuiness, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said in a statement that the GOP plan’s suggestion of a bipartisan commission to address the long-term fiscal situation “is a great idea that policymakers should adopt immediately.”

This commission, MacGuiness opined, “is needed sooner rather than later to address the looming insolvency of Social Security and Medicare and tame the growth of the national debt.”

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