Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders has reintroduced the Social Security Expansion Act to Congress, now with more support from fellow lawmakers. The bill aims to provide an extra $200 in each monthly check for current Social Security recipients or those who will turn 62 in 2023. Thus, seniors would receive an additional $2,400 a year in benefits, a welcome supplement to their annual cost-of-living increases, which are being wiped out by inflation. The bill proposes taxing the highest earners in the country as a way forward for the severely underfunded program. The taxes will apply to the wealthiest Americans without affecting households that earn $250,000 or less. The legislation seeks to extend the solvency of Social Security for the next 75 years, thereby ensuring future generations can receive benefits through 2096.
The new bill aims to ease the financial strain that seniors are facing due to historically high inflation, which has a big impact on those living on fixed incomes, many of whom rely solely on Social Security payments. Nearly 40% of seniors rely on Social Security for the majority of their income, and almost half of Americans aged 55 and older have no retirement savings at all. The bill seeks to provide seniors with dignity and security by lifting millions of them out of poverty.
The bill has support from cosigners such as Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Cory Booker; Representatives Jan Schakowsky, Val Hoyle, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamie Raskin, and Rashida Tlaib; and more than 50 organizations. Republican leaders have also stated that they are not interested in cutting Social Security or Medicare, thereby providing a positive sign for the bill’s success.
A news article by GOBankingRates published on March 17, 2023, contributed to this report.