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Republican looks to overhaul Social Security

A senior Republican lawmaker wants to overhaul Social Security.

The decades-old program that provides benefits to some 60 million retirees and disabled, with a plan to gradually increase the retirement age and slow the growth of benefits for higher-income workers.

overhaul social security

Rep. Sam Johnson of Texas, the chairman of the House Ways and Means subcommittee on Social Security, introduced legislation just before the end of the congressional session last week that he said would “permanently save” the program while increasing some benefits for lower-income workers.

About 168 million people work and pay taxes toward the inevitable monthly Social Security benefits, and about 42 million of the beneficiaries are retirees and their families. The trustees who oversee Social Security say it has enough money to pay full benefits until 2034, and then Social Security will collect only enough taxes to pay 79 percent of benefits.
Conservatives like Johnson, who have pushed their priorities for years under divided government, see an opportunity to tackle Social Security next year.

Johnson’s bill is designed to slow the growth of Social Security costs while boosting some minimum benefits for those who earned lower wages over longer careers.

But it’s unclear if his proposal — or any others to revise Social Security — will move. Trump, who enjoyed strong support from working-class Americans, promised during the campaign not to cut Social Security and Medicare.

Ryan told CBS’ “60 Minutes” earlier this month that he has no plans to change Social Security.

A March poll by the Pew Research Center found 7 in 10 Americans said Social Security benefits should not be reduced in any way.

AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Ryan, said the bill “is one of many Republican ideas put forward to strengthen the program.”

Ryan has long been one of the most outspoken in his party on the need for entitlement reform, including Social Security.

“While Speaker Ryan sharpens his knives for Medicare, Chairman Johnson’s bill is an alarming sign that Republicans are greedily eying devastating cuts to Americans’ Social Security benefits as well,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California.


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