Hoyer Statement on House Social Security Hearing

For Immediate Release:

May 12, 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 House Ways and Means Committee’s first hearing on Social Security privatization and middle class benefit cuts:

“House Republicans performed an amazing act of double-dealing at today’s hearing. 

“They stacked the deck in favor of privatization and persistently sung its praises, while at the same time running from the label of ‘privatization’ as far and fast as possible.  Perhaps Republicans are finally admitting that the American people don’t want to privatize Social Security.

“And perhaps that is why Chairman Thomas is gearing up to coat the bitter pill of privatization with lots of artificial sweeteners, hoping the American people won’t notice and will swallow the Republican proposal whole.

“But the bottom line is the same: The stubborn Republican focus on privatization and middle class benefit cuts would hit the middle class with a one-two punch.  First, with deep benefit cuts and second, by exchanging a guaranteed benefit with a gamble.

“There are many different ways to help ensure Social Security’s solvency, and a reasonable combination of these options would save the middle class from bearing the burden of addressing Social Security’s challenges and losing their retirement security.

“Democrats are ready to work in a bipartisan manner with Republicans to strengthen Social Security.  But we are looking for a real commitment to work together as we did in 1983, not just politically strategic lip service to bipartisanship.  As soon as our Republican colleagues make that commitment, and turn their attention from privatization to ensuring Social Security’s solvency, we will be able to move forward for the American people.”

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