Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-20) reaffirmed his support for Social Security this week by becoming an original cosponsor of the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013. The bill, H.R. 3118, increases benefits for current beneficiaries while making Social Security stronger for future generations
“Social Security is a pledge to hard working Americans that they will retire with the dignity they deserve,”Tonko said. “Congress has the responsibility to guarantee American citizens that this program will remain strong for future generations by focusing on initiatives that will keep it solvent for decades to come, while ensuring benefits keep up with the cost of living.”
The legislation would help Social Security beneficiaries pay for rising costs of groceries, utilities, and other necessities by changing the way cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) are calculated. To extend the life of the Social Security trust fund, H.R. 3118 would phase out the current taxable cap of $113,700, so that payroll taxes apply fairly to every dollar of wages. By improving the long-term financial condition of the trust fund, we can ensure that future generations are able to receive the benefits they have earned while providing fairer benefits to current seniors.
These changes are estimated to preserve the trust fund through at least 2049. While more needs to be done to preserve and protect Social Security for future generations, the changes included in the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013 are an important first step. Congressman Tonko’s support for H.R. 3118 is consistent with two pieces of legislation he introduced in 2011; Support Our Seniors COLA Act and Keeping Social Security Solvent Act.
H.R. 3118 is a House companion bill to Senator Tom Harkin’s legislation (S.567), and is supported by Social Security Works, Strengthen Social Security Campaign, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Campaign for Community Change, Paralyzed Veterans of America, UAW, The ARC, Alliance for Retired Americans, National Education Association, United Steelworkers, and Senior Citizens League.
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