As the country awaits full election results, The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare congratulates the many seniors’ champions who prevailed in key races across the nation. More than 70 of the candidates who the National Committee enthusiastically endorsed have emerged victorious in crucial House and the Senate contests.
“These wins represent a resounding rejection of MAGA-nomics by voters in bellwether districts and states. While clearly concerned about inflation, these voters have said ‘No’ to more tax cuts for the wealthy and powerful corporations – and no to cuts in workers’ Social Security and Medicare benefits, including reducing COLAs or raising the eligibility ages for both programs.” – Max Richtman, NCPSSM President and CEO, 11/9/22
Here are a few of the candidates NCPSSM endorsed who won election to the 118th Congress:
Sen.-elect Jon Fetterman (PA)
Sen. Mark Kelly (AZ)*
Sen. Michael Bennett (CO)
Sen. Maggie Hassan (NH)
Rep. Dan Kildee (MI)
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH)
Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA)
Rep.-elect Seth Magaziner (RI)
*not called yet
Current projections are that Republicans will win a slim House majority, while control of the Senate hinges on the outcome of races that have yet to be called – and possibly on a runoff race in Georgia. A House majority would give Republicans an opportunity to try to force through some of their proposals that jeopardize Americans’ earned benefits.
Key Republican leaders have threatened to use the inevitable battle over raising the nation’s debt limit in 2023 to compel the White House and Democrats to accept cuts to Social Security and Medicare. “The debt ceiling wrangling will be the biggest risk,” says Maria Freese, senior policy analyst at NCPSSM.
During the 2022 campaign, President Biden promised to fight any attempts to undermine seniors’ earned benefits, but Freese says that he will be under “tremendous pressure” from the GOP to make a deal, in order to forestall the nation from defaulting on its debts.
“If Republicans do control the House, seniors will be counting on President Biden to be a bulwark against harmful changes to Social Security and Medicare, beginning with the upcoming debt ceiling negotiations. As the President said, ‘GOP leaders have vowed to crash the economy by putting the U.S. in default unless we yield to their demand to cut Social Security and Medicare.’” – Max Richtman, 11/09/22
In his first post-election news conference on November 9th, President Biden pledged once again to defend the nation’s two most important social insurance programs:
“Under no circumstances will I agree to cut or make fundamental changes to Social Security and Medicare. It’s not on the table. I will NOT do that.” – President Biden, 11/9/22
During the mid-term campaign, key Republicans said they want to “save” Social Security and Medicare, but their proposals beg the question: at what cost to the very people who depend on those programs? The 2022 House Republican Study Committee blueprint called for raising the retirement age to 70, reducing COLAs, and cutting benefits for “high earners,” an odd characterization since the cuts eventually could extend to workers earning $40,000 per year.
“Anyone who says they’re going to ‘save’ Social Security but refuses to bring more revenue into the program is really talking benefit cuts for the heart of the middle class,” says Freese.
NCPSSM President and CEO Max Richtman calls on seniors and their families not to take anything for granted – and continue to remind their elected representatives that they insist Social Security and Medicare be protected:
“There are multiple ways to reach out to members of Congress – to remind our elected leaders that after a deadly pandemic that took a huge toll on seniors, the soaring cost of retirement, and ongoing wealth inequality, Americans depend on Social Security and Medicare to retire with dignity now more than ever.” – Max Richtman, 11/09/22