July 17, 2023
Senate Budget Committee Holds Hearing on Strengthening Social Security; Rep. Larson Re-Introduces the Social Security 2100 Act
Social Security was in the news this week with Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) holding a hearing entitled, “Protecting Social Security for All: Making the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share,” and Rep. John Larson (CT) re-introducing the Social Security 2100 Act as H.R. 4583.
The Senate hearing focused on S. 1174, the Medicare and Social Security Fair Share Act, introduced by Sen. Whitehouse. The legislation extends Social Security’s solvency indefinitely while extending Medicare’s solvency by 20 years by requiring Social Security taxes to be paid on all wages, self-employment, and investment income above $400,000. Currently Social Security taxes are only paid on the first $160,200 in annual earnings. In addition, the Medicare tax rate would be increased for income above $400,000. Rep. Brendan Boyle (PA) has introduced a House version of the bill, H.R. 4535.
Rep. Larson’s bill, H.R. 4583, was re-introduced on Wednesday. It has more than 175 House co-sponsors and would require Social Security taxes to be paid on wage income above $400,000. It increases benefits by 2% across the board for all Social Security beneficiaries for the first time in 52 years, expands benefits to boost lower income seniors, and improves benefits for middle-income widows and widowers from two-income households. It also repeals the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) that currently penalize many public servants. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT) introduced the Senate version of the bill, S. 2280.
“The Alliance supports both of these bills. They demonstrate how we can strengthen Social Security and ensure that the vast majority of Americans do not continue paying a much larger percentage of their income into Social Security than billionaires,” said Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance. “This is a welcome contrast to the proposals from other members of Congress who talk about raising the full retirement age for Social Security, privatizing it and creating special commissions to slash it.”