Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and 36 Democratic lawmakers reintroduced a bill Monday in the House and Senate to extend the solvency of Social Security for 75 years and increase benefits, citing Republican plans to cut the program.
Mr. Sanders has introduced similar versions of the bill, including in 2022, but reintroduced the legislation at a time when Social Security is a hot topic in Washington.
Currently, Social Security faces insolvency in 2035. If that were to happen, the system could only continue funding about 80% of its scheduled benefits.
The bill would extend the solvency of Social Security for 75 years by lifting the income cap on Social Security taxes and subjecting all households making over $250,000 to the payroll tax. In 2023, the limit on income subject to Social Security taxes is $160,200, according to the Social Security Administration.
"At a time when nearly half of older Americans have no retirement savings and almost 50% of our nation's seniors are trying to survive on an income of less than $25,000 a year, our job is not to cut Social Security," Mr. Sanders said in a news release.
In his State of Union address, President Joe Biden said "some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset" every five years and require congressional reapproval, eliciting vocal responses from many GOP lawmakers in the audience.
In response to the accusations, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., announced a bill Feb. 10 to increase funding for Social Security and Medicare and raise the standard for making cuts to either program. He originally introduced a plan in February 2022 to let any federal legislation sunset after five years.
According to a fact sheet from Mr. Sanders' office, the bill would also increase Social Security benefits to all new and existing beneficiaries by $2,400 annually and increase cost-of-living adjustments.
Other provisions of the bill include increasing the net investment income tax by 12.4%, raising the Special Minimum Benefit for low-income recipients to 125% of the poverty line, and restoring benefits for children of disabled or deceased workers, up to age 22, the fact sheet states.
"Every American should be able to retire with respect and security by knowing that they will receive the Social Security payments they have earned," said Rep. Val Hoyle, D-Ore., one of the co-sponsors of the bill, in a news release. "With the rising cost of living, it's time to modernize and expand the program."