Bills Introduced in the 115th Congress to Expand Social Security

Bill Name

 

Changes to Social Security

Lifts the cap

CPI-E

Extends Solvency

Other Benefits

Increases

Social Security Expansion Act

S. 427 & H.R. 1114

 

 

 

 

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR-4)

Immediately subjects earnings above $250k to the payroll tax. Creates temporary “doughnut hole” of earnings not taxed between current cap and $250k, which will close steadily as the current cap grows to $250k. Taxes investment income. Switches to the more accurate CPI-E. Changes the benefit formula in a way which boosts benefits for all Social Security beneficiaries by approximately $65 per month.

P

P

P

P

CPI-E Act of 2017

H.R. 1251

 

Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA-3)

Switches to the more accurate CPI-E.

 

P

 

 

Protect Our Widow and Widower Retirement Act

H.R. 1583

Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA-38)

Creates an alternative benefit equal to 75 percent of the combined income received while both spouses were alive.

 

 

 

P

Social Security 2100 Act

S. 2671 & H.R. 1902

 

 

 

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

Rep. John Larson (D-CT-1)

Subjects earning above $400k to payroll tax. Switches to the more accurate CPI-E. Changes the benefit formula in a way which boosts benefits for all Social Security beneficiaries by approximately $65 per month. Raises the minimum benefit 125%, combines the OASI and SSDI trust funds. Raises the threshold on the taxation of benefits.

P

P

P

P

Protection of Social Security Benefits Restoration Act

S. 959

H.R. 4500

 

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-3)

Repeals the 1996 Social Security garnishment rules for Social Security. The legislation would prevent Social Security from being garnished for federal student debt, home loans owed to the Veterans Administration, and food stamps overpayments.

 

 

 

P

Social Security Caregiver Credit Act of 2017

S. 1255

 

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)

Modestly enhances caregivers’ Social Security benefits. Anyone spending at least 80 hours a month providing care to a parent, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, child, aunt, or uncle is eligible to claim the credit, for up to 60 months. The credit would be structured in a way to complement earnings and would be progressive, with those not receiving income earning a higher credit, eventually phasing out when an individual earns more than the average national wage.

 

 

 

P

Social Security for Future Generations Act

H.R. 2855

Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL-5)

Extends student benefit to age 22. Updated widow/widower benefit. Switches to CPI-E. Subjects earning above $250k to payroll tax. Includes special minimum benefit.

P

P

P

P

Fair COLA for Seniors Act

H.R. 2896

 

Rep. Richard Nolan (D-MN-8)

One-time 3.9% COLA for 2017. Switches to the CPI-E for all years following 2017.

 

 

 

P

Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act

S. 1600 & H.R. 3302

 

 

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL-22)

Switches to the more accurate CPI-E for all beneficiaries. Lifts the cap and asks higher income earners to pay Social Security on all their earnings in order to increase the program’s revenue stream and extend the overall solvency of the program. Extends Social Security’s solvency by gradually eliminating the tax cap over 7 years.

P

P

P

 

Social Security Administration Accountability Act

H.R. 5431

 

Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY-26)

Social Security Commissioner must include the number of pending cases at the hearing offices in each budget submission. Commissioner must give justification for any office closing. GAO must study disability hearings process.

 

 

 

P

BASIC Act

H.R. 5302

 

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR-4)

Prorates beneficiary’s last-month of benefits. Increases the lump sum death payment by about $255. New benefits will not violate the family maximum provisions.

 

 

 

P

Elder Poverty Relief Act

S. 2653

 

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Beneficiaries receive an additional monthly increase if they are age 82 or older and SSI recipients; Social Security and SSI recipients for 20 years; or Social Security beneficiaries with low monthly benefits.

 

 

 

P

SWIFT Act

S. 3457

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA)

Allow widow(er)s and surviving divorced spouses with disabilities to receive 100% of the survivor benefit regardless of their age; Give widow(er)s and surviving divorced spouses the ability to increase the value of their survivor benefits beyond current arbitrary caps;

Enable widow(er)s and surviving divorced spouses caring for children to receive child-in-care benefits until the children are age 18 or 19 if still in school; and

Require the federal government to proactively provide information to widow(er)s and surviving divorced spouses about benefits they are eligible for, claiming options, and important deadlines.

 

 

 

P

Strengthening Social Security Act

TBD

 

Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA-38)

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI-02)

Increases monthly benefits for current and future retirees; Replaces CPI-W with CPI-E for the purpose of calculating COLA’s; Phases out the taxable cap of $128,400; Increases widow(er)s benefits to the greater of 75% of combined benefits, or the Primary Insurance Amount.

P

P

P

P

 

Related Bills

Bill Name

Details

Social Security Fairness Act

H.R. 1205

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL-13)

Repeals the Government Pension Offset (GPO) provision as well as the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP).

Social Security Safety Dividend Act of 2017

H.R. 67

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee

(D-TX-18)

Directs the Department of the Treasury to disburse a $250 cash payment to recipients of Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income benefits (under title XVI of the Social Security Act), railroad retirement benefits, or veterans disability compensation or pension benefits if no cost-of-living adjustment is payable for the year

Affordable Medications Act &

Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs

S. 3411 & H.R. 1776

Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN)

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9)

Lowers the price of prescription drugs in America using policies like: Medicare drug price negotiations; increasing transparency at drug companies; end “pay-for-delay” agreements; penalizes companies that participate in price gouging; caps out-of-pocket costs or drugs in health insurance plans; increase generic competition; funds innovation.

SSI Restoration Act

H.R. 3307

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-3)

Modernizes and improves SSI by streamlining and simplifying the claiming

process, expanding the resources and income limits and eliminating punitive reductions in benefits.

Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act

H.R. 676

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN-5)

Single payer universal health care bill with expanded benefits package to include coverage of medically necessary oral surgery, nutritional, and dietary health care services.

H.R. 4592

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY-17)

To amend title II of the Social Security Act to eliminate the two-year waiting period for divorced spouse’s benefits following the divorce.

H.R. 4593

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY-17)

To amend title II of the Social Security Act to provide for full benefits for disabled widows and widowers without regard to age.

H.R. 4594

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY-17)

To amend title II of the Social Security Act to provide for increases in widow’s and widower’s insurance benefits by reason of delayed retirement.

H.R. 4595

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY-17)

To amend title II of the Social Security Act to repeal the 7-year restriction on eligibility for widow’s and widower’s insurance benefits based on disability.

 

Congressional Actions

Topic

Details

No Cuts Amendment

S.Con.Res.3, Amdt. 19

 

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Senator Sanders, along with the entire Democratic Caucus in the Senate, introduced an amendment to the FY17 Budget to prevent the Senate from breaking Donald Trump’s promise that “there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.”

SSA Hiring Freeze Letter

 

Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL-5)

Congressman Lawson along with 48 Democrats in the House of Representative wrote President Trump to request an exemption for the Social Security Administration from the federal hiring freeze.

Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid Cuts Letter

 

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)

Sen. Joe Donnolly (D-IN)

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA)

Senator Hirono along with 15 colleagues wrote a letter to President Trump demanding he keep his campaign promise to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid from drastic cuts and privatization.

FY18 House SSA Funding Letter

Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY-14)

Rep. John Larson (D-CT-1)

Letter to President Trump from over 100 members of the House expressing the importance of Social Security Administration funding in FY18.

FY18 Senate SSA Funding Letter

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Letter to Senate Appropriations Committee expressing the importance of Social Security Administration funding and requesting at least $13.042 billion for SSA in FY18.

FY19 House SSA Funding Letter

Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY-14)

Rep. John Larson (D-CT-1)

Letter to House Appropriations Committee from over 100 members of the House expressing the importance of Social Security Administration funding in FY19.

 

Download the 115th Congress Bill Fact Sheet here!

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