Saturday, March 28, 2015

Expanding Social Security


Thursday night-- actually Friday morning at 2:30-- Eizabeth Warren and a handful of allies managed to get an important amendment voted on in the Budget debate. Although it lost, 42 to 56,it now has almost every senator on record for wanting to either expand or cut Social Security. Politically, it was a momentous vote. Only two arch-conservative Democrats, corporate whore Tom Carper (D-DE) and political coward Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) voted with the Republicans against expanding Social Security. Every other Democrat is now on record for expanding Social Security.

The amendment was introduced by Warren, along with Joe Manchin (D-WV), Patty Murray (D-WA) Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Brian Schatz (D-HI). "Our country," explained Senator Warren, "faces a growing retirement crisis. Two-thirds of seniors rely on Social Security for most of their income in retirement, and for 15 million people, Social Security is what stands between them and poverty. We need to keep our promises to America’s seniors, and that means strengthening and expanding Social Security."

If she's the most liberal Democrat in the Senate, Joe Maanchin is usually thought of as the most conservative, although conservative and somewhat populist in a very West Virginia kind of way. He said that it's "time this Congress sets our priorities based on American values. In my eyes, the highest priority should be the seniors who belong to the greatest generation who helped build this nation into what it is today. We must make it clear that for those seniors, Social Security is a promise they can count on. This amendment begins the process of putting differences aside in order to keep our promises to our seniors by protecting Social Security beneficiaries while working to ensure the long-term solvency of this vital program. Senator Warren and I are committed to making sure the Social Security Trust Fund remain permanently solvent so that this great promise will be available for generations to come."

Before the vote, the only senators on record for expanding Social Security were Warren, Brown, Merkley, Schatz and Hirono. Now there are 42. and it's a good argument for not recruiting Democratic candidates from among congressmen with unreliable records on protecting Social Security, like Chris Van Hollen in Maryland and, far worse, Patrick Murphy in Florida. We need more like Elizabeth Warren and fewer like Tom Carper and Heidi Heitkamp. Donna Edwards (D-MD) and Alan Grayson (D-FL) with have been the 43rd and 44th yes vote on this amendment.



At 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This incident proves beyond doubt why Warren needs to remain in the Senate where she can't be distracted from her primary knowledge and experience, which is economics. Putting her in the White House means that so many other things will require her time and attention, making her even less able to defend what remains of the American Middle Class.


Post a Comment

<< Home