WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Republicans in US Congress are aiming to slash Social Security disability benefits by 19 percent next year, US Senator Bernie Sanders said during a floor speech on Thursday.
“I wanted to discuss an issue of very serious concern to tens of millions of Americans, and that is the Republican effort to cut social security disability insurance benefits,” Sanders said, accusing the Republican party of trying to “lay the groundwork for a 19% cut in disability benefits next year.”
Sanders explained that the House of Representatives adopted a rule on the first day of the new Congress that would restrict the President’s ability to transfer funds from Social Security’s retirement account to the disability fund.
“Mr. President,” Sanders said, “the Republicans are manufacturing a crisis where none exists.”
Time and again US presidents from both parties since the 1960s have employed this process to affect funds transfer into the disability account, according to Sanders.
“There are some people who, sadly, are trying to divide the senior population from the disability population,” the Independent from Vermont said.
The Republicans, however, have repeatedly expressed their concerns that Obama has been unwilling to reduce or cap mandatory entitlement programs, while spending on Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare is predicated to nearly double over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
On January 25, House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price said it was not wise to continue to take from the Social Security trust fund to prop up the disability fund, media reported.
US President Barack Obama in his 2016 budget said that he would oppose any measures that slash Social Security benefits for future generations or reduces basic benefits for current beneficiaries.
On Monday, US President Barack Obama submitted a nearly $4 trillion fiscal budget proposal to Congress, which he is required to by law each year. In response to Obama’s proposal, Congress will send its version of a budget to the White House, which the president then has to sign-off on.