Democratic Members To Speaker Boehner: Abandon Plan To Shut Down Social Security Administration

Mar 16, 2011 Issues: Social Security


(Washington D.C.)- Today 125 members of the House Democratic Caucus sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) urging him to restore reasonable funding levels to the Social Security Administration (SSA) in the House Republican 2011 budget to avoid shutting down the agency for the equivalent of a month this year. The letter was spearheaded by Reps. Sander M. Levin (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee, Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies.     

Ranking Member Levin: “The Republican proposal to recklessly slash funding to the Social Security Administration jeopardizes its ability to get vital benefits into the hands of seniors and people with disabilities and provide assistance to the public. It is time for Republicans to abandon this irresponsible plan.”

Ranking Member Becerra: “The facts are the facts.  The Republican job-destroying spending bill will shut down Social Security offices for up to a month this year.  That was the warning the Social Security Administration recently communicated to Congress.  And if local Social Security offices are closed for business, nearly 700,000 new retirees, widows, disabled workers and children will be put in a backlog as phones go unanswered and claims go unprocessed.

Today we say to Speaker Boehner, restore funding in your budget for the Social Security Administration and cease-and-desist from this plan that would shut it down.”

Ranking Member DeLauro: “Social Security ties generations together, providing economic security to millions of American seniors who otherwise might not be able to afford their daily expenses. And yet, it will be one of the first casualties of the Republican’s spending bill. The $1.7 billion drop in funding to the Social Security Administration could cause a shutdown of four weeks, leaving current beneficiaries without help should they need it, new retirees without benefits, our current workforce without the knowledge that their wages are being accounted for, and even newborn children without Social Security numbers. Americans of all ages depend on Social Security, and we must stand up to defend it against these reckless Republican cuts.”

In a letter to employees last month, SSA cautioned that it may have to furlough workers if cuts to its budget are enacted into law. In their Continuing Resolution, Republicans have proposed cutting SSA’s administrative funding by more than 9 percent in 2011, from $11.8 billion in 2010 to $10.7 billion this year. In addition, the Republican proposal provides for $1.7 billion less than SSA needs to keep pace with inflation and rising workloads.

Click here to read the letter to Speaker Boehner.