(PresidentialHill.com)- As Democrats worked to pass the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which would increase the budget to include hundreds of billions of dollars in spending, the House quietly killed a bill that would have expanded social security, according to the American Prospect.
The expansion, Social Security 2100, would have been the first since the New Deal program was introduced in 50 years. It would have increased checks by 2 percent of the average benefit, which have been reportedly “offset through a payroll tax on wages above $400,000.” The bill was championed by Democratic Rep. John Larson and was introduced with nearly 200 co-sponsors before the bill was killed by Pelosi.
The bill received pushback from Pelosi’s lead staffer, Wendell Primus. Larson says that Pelosi was focused on passing the Inflation Reduction Act and feared that the expansion could become a challenge for “Democrats frontliners” facing opposition in the midterm. But he also said that Pelosi told them to continue to work on the bill, which they have done.
“Wendell’s argument to groups has been, listen, there are only a limited amount of resources, etc., and we have to make difficult decisions at times,” Larson told the Prospect in an interview. “There’s more than a shred of truth to the fact that children are in great need, but there certainly is an equally strong argument that both are in need.”
Larson also said that social security is responsible for reducing childhood poverty.
The Democratic frontliners that Pelosi is concerned about, however, already support the bill, such as Sanford Bishop (D-GA) and Matt Cartwright (D-PA), in what they see as an offensive move to fight back against Republicans’ desire to privatize the program. President Joe Biden has also supported the measure.
As Larson’s bill is sidelined, a Republican social security bill that has already received bipartisan support, sponsored by sponsored by Republican Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), is to be voted on next. “The Social Security Fairness Act” which is supported by public sector unions like teachers and police officers, would reportedly “repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO), which prevent public servants in states with special pension plans from getting Social Security benefits.”