Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

Representing the 18th District of TEXAS

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Statement on the introduction of Social Security 2100 Act

Feb 4, 2019
Press Release

For Immediate Release                                                                 Contact: Robin Chand

January 30, 2019                                                                                  (202) 225–3816

 

Press Statement

 

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Statement on the introduction of Social Security 2100 Act

Jackson Lee: “The purpose of this bill is to protect our Social Security system and improve benefits for current and future generations.  This bill will expand benefits for all current and future Social Security recipients, cut taxes for almost 12 million seniors, and ensure the system remains solvent for the rest of the century. The US faces a retirement crisis and a modest boost in benefits offered by the Social Security 2100 Act strengthens the one leg of the retirement system that is universal and the most reliable.”

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Budget, issued this statement on the passage of H.R. 495, legislation introduced by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, which was passed today by the House of Representatives:

“Social Security is one of the most compelling features of our country’s social safety net.  Its enactment has dramatically reshaped the future for many elderly Americans, and others who may find themselves in a vulnerable state.  In my home state of Texas, we have almost 700,000 recipients of social security.  In my home county of Harris county, which includes Houston—the fourth largest city in the country, approximately 100,000 individuals are on social security.”

“But we also know that social security is in jeopardy of insolvency.  This is why I have constantly introduced legislation which permits seniors on social security to have greater security.  This is also one of the reasons I introduced H.R. 46, the Social Security Safety Dividend Act, which would ensure that seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities who receive Social Security and certain other Federal benefits receive a $250 payment in the event that no cost-of-living adjustment is payable in a calendar year.   I introduced this bill because I know the system is under strain, and because the pending retirement of the baby boomers promises to put a strain the system—with more recipients than payees.

 

“I am also proud to be an original co-sponsor of the Social Security 2100 Act.   The purpose of this bill is to protect our Social Security system and improve benefits for current and future generations.  This bill will expand benefits for all current and future Social Security recipients, cut taxes for almost 12 million seniors, and ensure the system remains solvent for the rest of the century. The US faces a retirement crisis and a modest boost in benefits offered by the Social Security 2100 Act strengthens the one leg of the retirement system that is universal and the most reliable.

“There are many compelling features to this bill.  For example, this bill improves the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) formula to better reflect the costs incurred by seniors through adopting the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) formula. This CPI-E formula improves inflation protection and will help seniors who spend a greater portion of their income on health care and other necessities. The Act will help all social security recipients, especially older retirees and widows who are more likely to rely on Social Security benefits as they age.

“The Social Security 2100 Act will also protect low income workers by creating a new minimum benefit set at 25% above the poverty line that would be tied to wage levels to ensure that the minimum benefit does not fall behind.  Almost 12 million Social Security recipients would benefit from receiving this tax cut. The Social Security 2100 Act ensures that any increase in benefits from the bill do not result in a reduction in SSI benefits or loss of eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP.  The Social Security 2100 Act also strengthens the trust fund by having millionaires and billionaires pay the same rate as everyone else.

“To pay for itself, this legislation will apply the payroll tax to wages above $400,000 which will only affect the top 0.4% of wage earners.  The Social Security 2100 Act will gradually phase in the increase over 23 years which will add 50 cents per week for the average worker. The need to ensure that we are protecting our seniors is real, and in a time when people are facing immense stresses on their finances, the Social Security 2100 Act will help to that end.  I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this legislation and urge my colleagues to support it.”

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Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat representing the 18th Congressional District of Texas, is a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security and the Budget.