The Democrats have taken over the House of Representatives, and they are poised to offer a progressive agenda. One proposal gaining traction is the Social Security 2100 Act, introduced by Reps. John Larson of Connecticut, Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, and Jahana Hayes of Connecticut.
Social Security became a part of American life after President Franklin Roosevelt established the program in his 1935 New Deal. The proposed legislation aims to expand Social Security benefits and enable the program to remain solvent for at least the next 75 years. Over 200 House Democrats already support the bill.
To increase benefits, the bill will create a minimum payment 25% greater than the federal poverty level and adjust the benefit formula so that more of an individual’s pre-retirement income will eventually be replaced. The consumer price index, which is currently used to determine cost-of-living adjustments, will be replaced by an index that better reflects seniors’ expenses, including higher costs of health care.
In order to fund these changes, earnings of $400,000 or more would be subjected to the Social Security payroll tax, and the payroll tax would be raised by 1.2 percentage points on employers and employees. Under the current system, Americans pay Social Security taxes only on the first $132,900 that they earn.
Representative Larson previously introduced his bill during the last Congress, and the Republican-controlled House squashed it. In the Senate, two Democrat Senators have sponsored a companion bill, but a Republican majority all but guarantees that it will not be considered.