A picture of Representative Theodore E. Deutch
Theodore D.
Democrat FL 21

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  • Providing for Consideration of H.R. 444, Require Presidential Leadership and No Deficit Act

    by Representative Theodore E. Deutch

    Posted on 2013-02-05

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    DEUTCH. Mr. Speaker, I rise today disappointed that my amendment to the Require a PLAN Act has been left out of this rule.

    This bill is bad political theater. Not even the devastatingly dangerous Ryan budget could achieve the balanced budget in 2014 this bill demands of the President.

    [[Page H361]] Setting this silliness aside, my amendment would address a separate issue: this bill's use of the phrase ``unified budget'' and the inclusion of Social Security as part of that unified budget. This is a blatant attempt to nullify Social Security's historic independence from the Federal budget. Social Security is funded by the payroll tax. It was created with its own revenue stream so these hard-earned benefits would never fall victim to the political shenanigans of a Congress like this one.

    As President Franklin Roosevelt said: With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my Social Security.

    Mr. Speaker, Social Security is not an item in the budget. It is social insurance that protects all Americans against destitution due to old age, a disability or illness, or the death of a breadwinner.

    Workers have built up $2.7 trillion in the Social Security trust fund which ensures that benefits will be paid in full at least until the mid-2030s. I have called for small adjustments to strengthen Social Security for the long term, and I'm ready to have that debate. But to put Social Security on the general budget's ledger as America's largest generation retires is simply beyond the pale.

    This bill, Mr. Speaker, puts Social Security on the GOP chopping block. This is a dangerous precedent. We cannot allow the accounting tricks in this bad legislation to endanger the Social Security that keeps so many Americans financially secure.

    President Truman said: Social Security is not a dole or a device for giving everybody something for nothing. True Social Security must consist of rights which are earned rights that are guaranteed by the law of the land.

    Today, Mr. Speaker, these earned rights of millions of Americans are in jeopardy, as is that guarantee. We must vote down this rule and we must vote down this bad bill.

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