Office of Rep. Derek Kilmer press release.
On Tuesday, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) joined Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) and nearly 200 Members of Congress in introducing Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust. This comprehensive legislation aims to improve Social Security benefits, extend the solvency of the Social Security Trust Funds, and prevent benefit cuts, while keeping President Biden’s promise not to increase taxes for those earning under $400,000.
“Social Security is a promise – a sacred trust to ensure seniors can retire with dignity. And yet, too many seniors are struggling to make ends meet. Congress should be doing all it can to protect and improve Social Security benefits. The Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust legislation will do just that,” said Rep. Kilmer. “For me, these issues are not theoretical policy conversations – they are personal. Not long ago, we lost my grandmother just 13 days shy of her 109th birthday. I’m conscious of the fact that my grandmother’s ability to live with dignity for decades was driven in part by Social Security – one of our nation’s most successful public policy programs. I’ll keep working to protect the benefits that seniors throughout Washington state have earned and deserve.”
Currently, there are nearly 180,000 Social Security recipients residing in Washington’s sixth congressional district and 1.4 million Social Security recipients in Washington state.
Specifically, the Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust legislation aims to strengthen Social Security by:
- Increasing benefits across the board for all Social Security beneficiaries;
- Improving the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA), so it better reflects the inflation experienced by seniors;
- Ensuring no one retires into poverty after a full career of work by improving benefits for long-serving, low-wage workers;
- Improving benefits for widows and widowers from two-income households;
- Increasing access to benefits for children living with grandparents or other relatives;
- Repealing the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) that currently penalize many public servants; and
- Ending the 5-month waiting period to receive disability benefits.
“Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust combines the best of the previous year’s Social Security 2100 Act with President Biden’s proposals to expand benefits and strengthen Social Security. The pandemic has only underscored what we already knew and has exacerbated systemic inequities—current benefits are not enough! 5 million seniors are living in poverty due to longstanding discrimination in the labor force that affects mostly people of color and women. These are our mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, and neighbors. For too long, Congress has forsaken its duty to enhance benefits. It’s time that we act now,” said House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (CT-01).
“We commend Congressman Larson for his years-long commitment to expanding and strengthening Social Security. Rep. Larson understands that too many seniors are struggling to meet basic living expenses like housing, prescription drugs, and health care. He knows that Social Security wasn’t set in stone when it was created in 1935, and that the program was intended to be expanded as seniors’ needs change. His legislation gives seniors a much-needed boost in benefits and an improved COLA formula—and extends Social Security’s solvency. We are gratified that so many of Rep. Larson’s colleagues are signing on as cosponsors—and hope that the House will, at long last, enact this crucial piece of legislation for American seniors,” said Max Richtman, President and CEO, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.
“In America, millions of Social Security beneficiaries are having to make the choice between food and medicine on a daily basis. This is unacceptable in the richest and greatest country in the world,” said Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance for Retired Americans. “Black American, Hispanic American and Asian American Social Security beneficiaries were disproportionately affected during the pandemic, exacerbating that inequality. A recent poll indicated that our nation’s seniors voted in the last election with the hope and expectation of seeing improvements to the Social Security benefits they have earned. Voters will remember this when they vote. The Alliance for Retired Americans 100% supports Representative Larson’s bill, ‘Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust’”
“AFGE is proud to endorse the Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust legislation and the many ways it both strengthens the program and expands benefits. We are particularly supportive of the bill’s repeal of the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision, which unfairly reduce earned benefits of public employees and their surviving spouses,” said Everett Kelley, National President, American Federation of Government Employees.
The Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust legislation is endorsed by: the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, Social Security Works, Alliance for Retired Americans, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), NAACP, National Organization for Women (NOW), National Education Association (NEA), AFGE, American Federation of Teachers, International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers (IFPTE), Public Citizen, National Association of Disability Representatives (NADR), among others.