Sen. Bill Cassidy: Biden Doesn’t Want to Come Up with a Plan to Save Social Security

Melanie Arter | March 16, 2023 | 12:38pm EDT
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US Senator Bill Cassidy, Republican of Louisiana, argues with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during a hearing by the Senate Finance Committee on the proposed budget request for 2024, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, March 16, 2023. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
US Senator Bill Cassidy, Republican of Louisiana (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

( - Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said Thursday that President Biden won’t come up with a plan to save Social Security from going broke in nine years and prevent a 25 percent cut in benefits for Social Security recipients.

“Right now Social security has low yielding assets - treasury bills, which might be -- and cash, which might be– the T bills, the treasuries might be yielding 1 and 2%, and we are in a high inflation environment. The Social Security trust fund is going broke in nine years. The president knows that, but he keeps telling the American people it's no problem,” Cassidy told “CNN This Morning.”

“He has not told us what he wants to do. It is going broke in nine years. At that point there will be a 25% cut in what someone who is depending on Social Security, a 25% cut in what they are getting, and the president doesn't seem to care,” he said.

Cassidy said that Biden has not announced a plan to address the Social Security shortfall, and he pointed out that White House Budget Director Shalanda Young was asked about it at a committee hearing, and “she couldn't give an answer about their plan.”

When asked whether Republican presidential candidate and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s proposal to raise the retirement age would be effective, the senator said, it depends.
“To do it by itself, clearly not effective. What we’ve done in our approach, by the way, is to create a fund separate from Social Security, separate, but have a diversified investment fund that would grow and could take up by far the majority of our future obligation,” Cassidy said.

“That is an approach that we're taking that the White House could engage with us on. I go back to Miss Young, who I really like, but nonetheless, they have not presented a plan. The president's willing to let this go bankrupt because he doesn't want to talk about it before his re-election. It is irresponsible. It is foolish. It is wrong for the American people,” he said.

The senator said he would be willing to work with the White House to save Social Security, and he denied that there was pushback from Republicans on the matter.

“No, that's not true. There is no pushback. I can tell you that we have made ourselves clear that we would be opening to working with the white house. We have a bipartisan group approaching this,” he said, adding that the White House accusing Republicans of wanted to get rid of Social Security because of a proposal by Scott is all they have to “retreat to.”

“There’s a Democrat that said something kind of stupid, too. So we’re gonna take one person as an excuse not to engage when the average beneficiary will see a 25% cut,” Cassidy said.

“You know better than that. One senator saying something that the president gloms onto because he doesn't want to actually have to come up with a plan. He is the president of the United States,” he said.

“He should come forward with a plan or else there will be a 25% cut for people who currently depend upon Social security. If that doesn't matter to you, you are running for re-election, you are too old to care or you’re too rich to need the money,” the senator said.

“Rick Scott has actually retreated from that. I mean that is a talking point for the president, but it has no relevance to what we’re trying to do. We have a bipartisan solution approach that we're willing to talk to the white house about and the white house doesn't want to talk to us,” Cassidy said.

“We have an approach. It's not a solid plan,” he said, “The reason it’s not a solid plan is because we have to talk to the White House because they’re going to want to have some modification of it.”

Cassidy said it’s important to meet with the White House on saving Social Security “because this is a negotiation.”

“We are so intent on working with the White House that we are willing to keep things kind of on hold. We have an approach until they come forward and say this is how we think we can do it together. We want to take White House priorities and include it because I don't want -- I don't want someone who is depending upon Social Security to get a 25% cut, and that's going to happen with the president asleep at the wheel,” he said.

He said so far the White House has been unwilling to meet with the GOP on saving Social Security.

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