public-policy newsletter

Social Security and Medicare Action Alert

July 28, 2020

Republican Senators are attempting to attach legislation to the next COVID-19 relief package that would pave the way for Social Security and Medicare to be gutted behind closed doors.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) indicated on July 23 that Republican’s forthcoming COVID-19 relief package would include the Time to Rescue United States’ Trusts Act. The TRUST Act, sponsored by Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), would create “rescue committees” tasked with developing recommendations and legislation to extend the solvency of Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds.

Though this proposal appears to be benign at first glance, these “rescue committees” would be shielded from public scrutiny, and their recommendations would be fast-tracked through Congress. If the TRUST Act becomes law, bills that make deep cuts to Social Security and Medicare would circumvent standard Congressional rules and receive expedited consideration in the House and Senate.

In the middle of a national health crisis, when older Americans are suffering disproportionately and require increased financial support, now is not the time to be leveraging COVID-19 relief in order to attach legislation designed to cut programs that maintain the well-being of older Americans in all our communities. Moreover, weakening Social Security or Medicare is overwhelmingly unpopular.

The National Human Services Assembly is firmly opposed to the TRUST Act. Social Security and Medicare need to be strengthened and secured for future generations, but this can be accomplished through the normal legislative process, not expedited without public input.

Take Action

Republicans have long called for cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits. Disconcertingly, some Democrats have also signed on to co-sponsor the TRUST Act. Any COVID-19 relief package will need Democratic votes to pass, so it is critical to contact and urge these Senators to reject the TRUST Act.

Below is a contact list of Senate Democratic staff members who handle Social Security and Medicare issues. We urge our members to reach out to staff directly to ask the co-sponsoring Senators to reconsider and also not to vote for a relief package that includes the TRUST Act.