House Republicans used a procedural maneuver in a vote that could cut Social Security benefits by 20% for about nine million Americans with disabilities and two million children who also count on those funds.
A statement by Senators Claire McCaskill, Debbie Stabenow, Chuck Schumer, Sherrod Brown and Patty Murray said the GOP leadership followed the most extreme members of their party in a maneuver to undermine Social Security for all Americans.
Here's how it works. There are two Social Security trust funds, one for retirees and one for people with disabilities. Historically, when payments from one fund exceeded expectations, Congress transferred money from the other fund. The last time that happened was in 1994, and it passed with bipartisan support. But in the first hours of the new Congress, House Republicans banned such transfers unless Social Security undergoes unspecified "reforms."
"Holding hostage the Social Security benefits of any American, especially those with disabilities, in order to get a chance to undermine Social Security for all Americans is an untenable proposition," the senators said, and they are asking the public to tell the Senate's Republican leaders to take that reckless concept off the table.