Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: CAP’s Rebecca Vallas: Social Security Too Important to Be Held Hostage to Congressional Politicking
Press Statement

STATEMENT: CAP’s Rebecca Vallas: Social Security Too Important to Be Held Hostage to Congressional Politicking

Washington, D.C. — Rebecca Vallas, Director of Policy for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement today in advance of the House Ways and Means Committee’s hearing on the Social Security Disability Insurance program:

Social Security Disability Insurance has been a core pillar of the nation’s Social Security system for 60 years, offering critical protection to nearly all American workers and their families in the event of a life-changing disability or illness. The program’s eligibility criteria are restrictive and payments are modest, but for those who receive benefits, it is nothing short of a lifeline, providing critical economic security when it is needed most.

Policymakers have many options to ensure long-term solvency of the overall Social Security system and a window of nearly 20 years to arrive at a package that will accomplish that goal. In the meantime, Congress should enact a simple payroll tax reallocation as has been done time and again, whenever necessary, to keep both trust funds on sound footing until 2033. Failure to do so would be nothing short of devastating to millions of disabled workers and their families and would erode Americans’ confidence in Social Security. ​​The nation’s Social Security system is far too important to the American people to hold it hostage to congressional politicking.

Earlier this month, CAP released a new analysis that revealed the extent to which rising income inequality has affected the solvency of the Social Security trust funds and poses a threat to their long-term financial health. The analysis showed that stagnant and declining wages for working families and the upward redistribution of income have taken a substantial toll on the Social Security trust funds. Read more about the findings here.

Related resource: Social Security Disability Insurance: A Bedrock of Security for American Workers by Rebecca Vallas and Shawn Fremstad

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Allison Preiss at [email protected] or 202.478.6331.