Friday, January 9, 2015

A Little Advice on Governing

If there ever was a reason to get our act together and get to know the Republican Congress this is -- The Coming Congressional War over Social Security Disability" by Howard Gleckman in a post for Forbes. Here's the link: 

Gleckman is not the only one writing about this. The Social Security Task Force of the Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities has compiled links to background and other opinion pieces.

Text of H. Res. 5 (Social Security provision is Sec. 3(q) on pages 30-31 of the PDF file):

Vote results:

Explainer from the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities:

The unprecedented inclusion of this harmful Social Security provision in the House rules has garnered extensive media coverage; highlights include:

Washington Post, Wonkblog:

Reuters, Mark Miller:

Michael Hiltzik, LA Times:

AP, Stephen Ohlemacher:

NYT, Teresa Trichou:

The House leadership has elected to hold everyone's feet to the fire by adding a rule to House rules that would prevent the House from voting on any legislation that would allow transfer of funding from one Social Security program (older persons and survivors program) to the SSDI program (people with disabilities who have worked). SSDI takes a financial nose dive in 2016 unless it gets more money. If nothing is done, then everyone who gets SSDI will see a 20% drop in their monthly payments from SSDI.

Who knows what the Senate has planned on this.

I am opposed to governing by threat, inaction, deception, and default. If the Social Security Programs need a scrubbing, then Democrats and Republicans should sit down and discuss how it should be done like grown ups, come up with some options, and share them with us. The next election is less than two years away and includes the election of a new president. Many people are affected by/benefit from Social Security payments. They want Republicans and Democrats to act responsibly. Procedural surprises are not the way to go. Hearings, bipartisan drafting of amendments, transparency, and consideration of the impact on people, as well as fiscal concerns should shape what comes about. Some have said that there is room for Republicans and Democrats to talk and come together on tax reform and trade policy. Well, why not Social Security reform as well, where the emphasis is placed on helping people be as independent as possible without fear of losing their health insurance? Remember the ABLE Act?

Thank you.
Common Grounder

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