*A copy of this letter was sent to the House of Representatives
October 6, 2021
The Honorable Charles Schumer
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Mr. Majority Leader:
On behalf of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare’s millions of members and supporters, I write to express our strong opposition to including S. 1295, the TRUST Act of 2021, in any compromise legislation to raise or suspend the debt limit. Instead, we urge you to continue to insist that the Senate pass the House-approved S. 1301 — a “clean” suspension of the debt limit.
S. 1295 would create so-called “Rescue Committees” that would draft legislation to address the solvency of federal trust funds, including the Social Security and Medicare funds. Once the respective Rescue Committees approve a trust fund bill, the legislation would receive expedited consideration in the House and Senate with no opportunity for amendment and little time for meaningful debate.
The TRUST Act does not specify how solvency would be achieved, thus opening the Social Security and Medicare programs to whatever broad array of across-the-board cuts that the proposed committees may choose to offer. The process created is nothing more than a back-door mechanism for enacting cuts to these essential programs that would not be possible through the normal legislative process. What’s more, the bill fails to require the committees to consider the importance of benefit adequacy given the growing number of working and middle-class Americans who depend on Social Security for all or most of their income in retirement or how Medicare benefit cuts would undermine the health security of seniors and people with disabilities.
The National Committee believes that fast-track consideration of Social Security and Medicare legislation required by the TRUST Act would circumvent a deliberative and regular order process, limiting the participation of Social Security and Medicare stakeholders and advocates in the debate.
In addition, a clean debt limit suspension must be enacted to avoid a government default that would do incalculable damage to our nation’s economy and put payment of Social Security benefits to 65 million Americans in jeopardy.
We urge you to oppose any effort to include the TRUST Act or similar fast-track Social Security and Medicare legislation, in an agreement to suspend or raise the debt limit and we urge you to ensure that a clean debt limit suspension (S. 1301) is approved by the Senate.
President and CEO