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From Sen. Bernie Sanders office -- Release: Defend Social Security Bill Proposed by Sanders:
March 15, 2011
WASHINGTON, March 15 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today introduced legislation that would safeguard Social Security, the most successful and reliable federal program in our nation's history.
“For 75 years, through good times and bad, Social Security has paid out every nickel owed to every eligible American. That’s an extraordinary record, all done at a very modest administrative cost,” Sanders said.
Sanders was joined at a Capitol Hill press conference by cosponsors of his bill to shield Social Security from efforts to cut benefits or raise the retirement age. Opponents of Social Security have falsely blamed the retirement program for driving up deficits.
“Let us also be very clear,” Sanders said. “Social Security has never contributed one dime to the federal budget deficit or the national debt. In fact, Social Security currently has a $2.6 trillion surplus that is projected to grow to $4.2 trillion in 2023. It is absurd, therefore, to be discussing Social Security within the context of deficit reduction.”
Sanders’ bill would require extraordinary majorities in Congress to approve any reduction in benefits. “Congress should not be able to cut the hard-earned Social Security benefits of current or future eligible recipients without a two-thirds vote by the Senate and the House,” Sanders said.
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) introduced the same measure in the House. “Social Security is an intergenerational contract that has never been broken. The GOP has pledged to attack its very foundation. This bill would arm us for the coming battle,” Weiner said.
Sanders and Weiner were joined at the press conference today by Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).