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Rep. Abigail Spanberger Leads Condemnation Of Executive Order That Would Gut Social Security Cashflow

"The President’s executive order is unworkable."

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From Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA07)’s office:

Spanberger Leads Condemnation Of Executive Order That Would Gut Social Security Cashflow

The Congresswoman Pushed Back on the President’s Unilateral & Reckless Move to Defer Payroll Taxes and Deprive Social Security Program of its Primary Source of Funding, Imperiling Millions Of Payments to American Seniors 

HENRICO, V.A. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today led five U.S. House colleagues in strongly opposing the Trump administration’s recent move to defer employee payroll taxes, threatening the financial basis of millions of Social Security payments to senior and disabled Americans. The president’s executive order would also create a sudden increase in tax liabilities next year, leaving working families with an unexpected burden in 2021. 

In a letter to the president, Spanberger urged cooperation with Congress to pass a new relief package that directly addresses the unemployment crisis without siphoning away the lifeblood and undermining the integrity of the Social Security program.   

“Social Security isn’t just a vital social safety net – it represents the fidelity of the United States government to the promises we’ve made to workers who have given a lifetime to building up their communities and driving our economy. The president’s executive order allowing the deferral of payroll taxes jeopardizes our ability to make vital payments to millions of Virginia seniors and disabled individuals and could leave American workers on the hook for thousands of dollars in unexpected taxes next year,” said Spanberger. “The President’s executive order is unworkable. We must arrive at a solution that addresses the current financial hardships facing many Americans – but we must do so in cooperation with Congress and with the input of elected officials from both sides of the aisle, and we must do so in a way that does not jeopardize the long term financial health of the Social Security program. This shotgun executive order is not a realistic solution for people who are out of work right now, and furthermore, it threatens the hard-earned benefits of seniors who have worked and paid into this system for decades.”   

“AFGE members from across the federal government have been reaching out to us to express their frustration and confusion over this move,” said Everett Kelley, President, American Federation of Government Employees. “They don’t understand why they are being saddled with a huge tax bill next year, they are worried about penalties and fees, they are concerned about how falling behind could impact their clearance and their livelihood, and they want an opportunity to opt out. These are many of the same concerns that have stopped most private sector businesses from enacting this policy. We thank Representative Spanberger for continuing to advocate on behalf of our members and hope the White House takes immediate action to address these concerns.”

“Social Security Works applauds every signatory of this letter for speaking out against Donald Trump’s dangerous unilateral action to defund Social Security,” said Nancy Altman, President, Social Security Works. “Our Social Security system is too important to the American people to be addressed behind closed doors or through an unprecedented executive power grab. It must be protected and expanded in Congress, through regular order.” 

The Social Security program celebrated its 85th anniversary earlier this year. For nearly a century, Social Security has formed the foundation of a dignified retirement for millions of Americans. It also often serves as the sole source of disability insurance and life insurance for working families. The program has low administration costs and participation is near-universal. In 2019, about 178 million Americans paid into Social Security and about 64 million – or 97% of the senior population – received benefits.

Click here to read the full text of the letter.

BACKGROUND

Spanberger has vocally and consistently called for further bipartisan action to address the ongoing financial hardships facing Central Virginia seniors, farmers, veterans, and working families due to the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.

In July 2020, Spanberger authored an op-ed with U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) defending Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare against persistent calls to dismantle the programs.

In February 2020, Spanberger spoke out against the administration’s attempts to slash Social Security funding by $24 billion in the FY2021 federal budget. In July 2019, Spanberger joined a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House to pass legislation that would make sure Central Virginia workers and retirees receive the benefits from multiemployer pension plans that they’ve earned.