WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 – Following President Donald Trump's false claim that Democrats are trying to cut Social Security, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.), Terri A. Sewell (D-Ala.) and Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) on Thursday announced the bicameral Expand Social Security Caucus, along with 16 senators and more than 130 House members.
"We are here today to say very loudly and very clearly that at a time when millions of seniors are trying to survive on $12,000 or $13,000 a year, our job is not to cut Social Security. Our job is to expand Social Security so that everyone in America can retire with dignity and respect," Sanders said.
"Social Security is a lifeline for seniors and Americans with disabilities. We won't let it be cut by one cent – and instead we will fight to expand it," Warren said. "The rich and powerful have rigged our economy to make themselves richer, while working families face a massive retirement crisis. If this government really works for the people, it should protect and expand Social Security."
“Social Security is not an entitlement. It’s the insurance that American workers have paid for. The members of this caucus will always fight for Social Security and the workers who have earned their benefits. I want to thank the House Co-Chairs Reps. Debbie Dingell, Terri Sewell, Conor Lamb and Raul Grijalva. In addition, I thank my colleagues in the Senate, Senator Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren for their hard work on building the Expand Social Security Caucus in the Senate,” Larson said.
The caucus is committed to expanding Social Security, one of the most popular and successful government programs. Last year alone, Social Security lifted 22 million Americans, including more than 15 million seniors, out of poverty. Before Social Security, nearly half of the nation’s seniors were living in poverty.
A number of bills have been introduced in the Senate and House to expand Social Security, including legislation written by Sanders last year to lift the cap on taxable income that goes into Social Security, requiring the wealthiest Americans – those who make over $250,000 a year – to pay their fair share of Social Security taxes. That bill would increase Social Security benefits and extend the program’s solvency for the next 60 years.
At a campaign rally in Montana last week, President Trump claimed Democrats want to “destroy your Social Security,” and “I’m going to save your Social Security." Meanwhile, the budget that Trump himself proposed earlier this year would have cut Social Security by some $72 billion over a 10-year period, according to a report from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.
Joining the caucus leadership Thursday were Social Security Works, the Alliance for Retired Americans, the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Latinos for a Secure Retirement, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, the American Federation of Government Employees, the Arc of the United States, the Center for Responsible Lending and Global Policy Solutions.
Joining Sanders and Warren in the Senate caucus are Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
Click here for a list of House caucus members.
Click here to watch the announcement