War Of Words Continues In House On Social Security

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:24 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - Despite Republican claims from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to the contrary, many House Democrats are still claiming that the House GOP is spending the Social Security surplus.

Representative David Vitter (R-LA) said in a House speech Tuesday, "it's been 152 days since this body (House) passed the (Social Security) lockbox bill and the other body (Senate) has not acted. House Republicans are committed to stopping the raid on Social Security now and in the years to come."

Vitter called on President Clinton to join House Republicans by offering "real leadership" to help pass what Vitter called a "real lockbox" Social Security trust fund bill.

However, Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) blasted the Republican leadership budget plan for not calling the "tough decisions we were sent here to make. Instead it makes wrong decisions. "

"According to their own (Republican) accounting office," DeLauro said, "the Republican leadership has already spent $13 billion dollars from Social Security. They have picked the lock box. This money should not be spent. It should be kept in the Social Security trust fund so that we are prepared when the baby boom retires."

The Connecticut Democrat didn't stop there. "No amount of rhetoric can change the facts. The Republican leadership is spending Social Security, despite the priorities of the American people. It ignores the fact that our seniors need a modern Medicare program with a prescription drug benefit, " DeLauro said.

However, Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) took to the House floor and predicted when Congress is done with the budget process, " We will have balanced the federal budget without spending one cent of the Social Security surplus."

"Using bogus ground rules some liberals," according to Tiahrt, " are saying that we (Republicans) have already spent the Social Security surplus. It's not true. If they are so concerned, they should vote for our across the board, 1.29 percent savings, that will protect the Social Security trust fund. All you have to do is crunch about one cent out of every dollar of federal discretionary spending and we'll save it."

"It's crunch time," Tiahrt said, "time to crunch government waste and save the Social Security trust fund."

Rep. JD Hayworth (R-AZ) accused liberals of wanting to "Spend more and more and more of the American people's money. We simply say hands off the Social Security surplus. Don't spend it on non-Americans as the President wants to do, in vetoing our foreign aid bill."

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) took to the House to "set the record straight, despite the accusations being lodged by the Democrat tax and spend caucus."

Bartlett explained that the Republican plan to save Social Security "does not mandate cutting any government programs. It does not touch Medicare, Medicaid, veteran's pensions, food stamps or any other important benefits program. Instead, it makes the heads of federal agencies more accountable for how they spend the taxpayer's hard earned money. We're telling them, we think they can do better."

Bartlett said he believes the heads of government agencies can do a better job in saving the taxpayers money by working to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in their agencies because if they don't "They will the jeopardize the retirement security for three generations of Americans. No longer will Congress stand idly by as Washington big spenders live like parasites off the retirement dollars of working Americans."

"A penny saved is retirement secured," according to Bartlett.

Rep. Doug Ose (R-CA) called on the Clinton administration to "deliver to the House its plan for Social Security. There's nothing here yet. We're now on day 299, still looking for that plan."

"Talk is talk and action is action", according to Ose, " now is the time for action. I ask that the (Clinton) administration finally deliver its plan for Social Security. The nation awaits."