"Democrats are here not just to protect and preserve Social Security from cuts but to expand it," Mr. Larson said at the news conference Tuesday. "Our bill will provide across-the-board increases for all recipients of Social Security. Our bill ensures that no senior can retire into poverty."
The bill, as originally introduced in October 2021, would provide a 2% increase in benefits for current and new beneficiaries, revise the annual cost-of-living adjustment formula, and make changes to the income tax cap. Currently, there is an income tax cap so individuals making more than $160,200 in income do not get taxed for Social Security on their earnings above that amount. The bill would change that to add an additional tier taxing all earnings above $400,000, which according to an October 2021 report from the Social Security Administration's chief actuary, would push Social Security's insolvency date to 2038 from 2035 if enacted.
According to an email from Mr. Larson's press secretary, the reintroduced bill will maintain all the same provisions as the previous version and while adding "an increase to the Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT) for investment income over $400,000."
At the news conference, Mr. Jeffries said that while Democrats are looking to shore up Social Security, "extreme MAGA Republicans want to end Social Security as we know it, and also, through their dangerous default gamesmanship, are placing at risk the earned Social Security benefits of millions of retirees all across the nation."
Social Security entered the spotlight in Washington when President Joe Biden said at his State of the Union address that "some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset" every five years and require congressional reapproval, prompting pushback from GOP lawmakers.
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who originally introduced a plan in February 2022 to let any federal legislation sunset after five years, has since clarified that the plan "was never intended to apply to Social Security, Medicare, or the U.S. Navy."
Currently, the U.S. faces a looming default on its debt, which many federal officials say could have unprecedented consequences on the economy. Mr. Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., met Monday in what they said was a "productive" discussion on the matter, but an agreement has yet to be reached.