House Democratic Whip Hoyer On President's Social Security Pitch To Wisconsin

Whip Also Comments on House Committee Hearing Today

For Immediate Release:

May 19, 2005

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to the President’s Social Security pitch in Wisconsin and a Social Security hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee, the primary committee with oversight of the program:

“In Wisconsin today, President Bush continued his failing effort to sell his proposal to privatize Social Security and deeply cut middle-class benefits, turning a guarantee into a gamble for the American people.  This proposal is such a bad idea that the President cannot even hold on to his allies in this debate.

“The man whom President Bush touted in his national press conference in April as helping him craft his middle-class benefit cuts proposal, Robert Pozen, said yesterday that Republicans should ‘back away’ from privatizing Social Security.

“In poll after poll, the American people have been telling Republicans to ‘back away’ from privatization.  But in a manner now typical of Republicans in Washington, they arrogantly dismiss anyone who disagrees with them and disregard the best interests of the American people while focusing on their narrow political goals.  The drumbeat of public opposition to Social Security privatization is deafening.  Yet, the President and Republicans in Congress ignore it, and refuse to engage Democrats in an honest dialogue on addressing Social Security’s problems.

“Meanwhile in the House of Representatives, Republicans began their effort to coat the bitter pill of privatization with artificial sweeteners.  The Republican effort to broaden the focus to other retirement issues will not distract from the main issue – that privatizing Social Security is not good for the American people.

“Democrats have repeatedly stated our desire to work in a bipartisan manner to strengthen Social Security for future generations.  We believe that the American people have made clear that they stand with us against privatization and for a bipartisan solution that will ensure solvency while protecting them from deep benefit cuts.”

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