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WASHINGTON - House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer released the following statement today in response to a Republican press conference calling for a House Democratic Social Security plan:

“The idea that Republicans are now whining that Democrats do not have a plan on Social Security is the height of absurdity.  Where, after all, is the House Republicans’ plan?  In fact, they don’t have one.

“Instead, they’ve pinned their hopes on the President’s Social Security privatization proposal and are shocked to have learned that the more the American people know about it, the more they oppose it.  So, these latest complaints are nothing more than a transparent attempt by Republicans to divert attention from the fact that their privatization scheme is floundering.  These complaints are a sign of frustration and political desperation.

“The reality is that Democrats have always recognized that Social Security faces long-term challenges caused by demographic shifts.  Furthermore, we have always been willing to sit down and discuss real bipartisan solutions to address those challenges, even though House Republicans have deliberately and repeatedly tried to shut us out of the legislative process over the last decade.  But, for us, privatization is a non-starter.  The Achilles heel of the President’s proposal is that private accounts do absolutely nothing to address Social Security’s solvency problems.  And Republicans have still failed to explain how they plan to pay the nearly $5 trillion over the next 20 years in transition costs.

“The Republican Party is losing this debate, and losing badly.  The sooner we dispense with privatization proposals, the sooner we can sit down and begin an open, honest discussion on how to address Social Security’s long-term challenges.”


Contact Info: 
Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130
For Immediate Release: 
March 9, 2005