The debt ceiling has put Social Security and other programs in the crosshairs of Congress.
The U.S. reached its $31.4 trillion debt ceiling on Jan. 19, and the Treasury Department has warned that America may not be able to pay its debts past early June – unless the debt ceiling is raised or suspended.
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Democrats and Republicans are approaching the problem from different angles. Some House Republicans reportedly want to explore spending cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
Although House Speaker Kevin McCarthy last month said the GOP “won’t touch Medicare or Social Security” as part of the debt ceiling discussion, the GOP reportedly has proposed the Trust Act and the Bipartisan Social Security Commission Act to review Social Security and Medicare as part of any debt solution.
McCarthy and President Biden are discussing a resolution as well. Also, Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) suggest a debt-to-GDP ratio to control spending. Fitzpatrick told CNN, “We have a fail-safe option in the backdrop that will be ready to go to make sure that we get this job done.”
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has suggested that Congress alter the way Social Security is funded, forcing the highest-earning people to contribute more. Social Security reserves are on track to run out by 2035 unless more funding is found, but the debt ceiling issue raises new questions around the program.
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