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Linda Sánchez Fights to Strengthen Social Security (Sept. 18, 2013)

September 18, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC –Today, Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (CA-38) announced the introduction of the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013 (H.R. 3118) which would bolster current benefits while making Social Security stronger for future generations. 

“Americans who have worked hard their entire lives have the right to retire with dignity and financial security,” said Congresswoman Sánchez.  “That is the promise Social Security continues to keep for millions of Americans who count on their earned benefits to make ends meet. Our seniors’ ‘golden years’ should be just that—living in good health, without financial insecurity. The Strengthening Social Security Act not only improves the standard of living for current and future beneficiaries, but it would extend the solvency of one of our country’s most successful anti-poverty programs.”

The Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013 improves the short-term and long-term health of Social Security in three steps. First, H.R. 3118 would change the benefit calculation formula the Social Security Administration uses, which would increase benefits for all Social Security beneficiaries by approximately $70 per month. Second, the Strengthening Social Security Act would change the way the Social Security Administration calculates the Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA), ensuring that benefits better reflect the increasing costs facing seniors today. Third, H.R. 3118 would phase out the current taxable cap of $113,700 so that all Americans contribute to Social Security taxes fairly.

Combined, these changes are estimated to preserve the Social Security Trust Fund through 2049 and reduce the 75 year actuarial deficit by approximately 50%. 

“Right now, millionaires and billionaires are being given a free pass:  an absolute cap on their contributions to Social Security,” said Congressman Rush Holt (NJ-12). “No matter how many millions of dollars they earn, they don’t contribute even a penny more in taxes.  This is wrong.  It’s time to preserve and expand Social Security by asking the very wealthy to pay the same Social Security tax rate as everyone else.”

"We applaud Representative Linda Sanchez's bill which enhances benefits and strengthens the long-term solvency of our Social Security system,” Eric Kingson, Founding Co-Director of Social Security Works. “Americans are fortunate that Representative Sanchez and the bill's co-sponsors recognize that the nation's retirement income crisis must be addressed by building upon, not cutting, our Social Security, the nation's most reliable retirement vehicle, built by hard work and payroll tax contributions over many generations."

H.R. 3118 is the House companion to S. 567, introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) in March, and has been referred to the House Education and the Workforce Committee, as well as the House Committee on Ways and Means, on which Congresswoman Sánchez serves.

The Strengthening Social Security Act has garnered support from Social Security Works, Strengthen Social Security Campaign, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Campaign for Community Change, Paralyzed Veterans of America, UAW, The ARC, Alliance for Retired Americans, National Education Association, United Steelworkers, and the Senior Citizens League.