(CNSNews.com) - "The Social Security Trust Fund is going broke in nine years," Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, told CNN on Thursday.
"The president knows that. But he keeps telling the American people it's no problem. He's not told us what he wants to do. It is going broke in nine years.
“At that point there will be a 25 percent cut in what someone who is depending on social security, a 25 percent cut in what they are getting, and the president doesn't seem to care."
Cassidy said Senate Republicans have developed an "approach" to the looming insolvency crisis, but they're waiting for the White House to work with them on an actual plan:
Cassidy said the Republican "approach" 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.
"Now that is an approach that we're taking that the White House could engage with us on...but nonetheless, they've 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. And it is wrong for the American people."
Cassidy said he's made it "clear" to the Biden administration that Republicans are "open" to working with the White House on Social Security solvency: "We have a bipartisan group approaching this," he said.
"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."
Where’s Biden’s plan?
In a contentious exchange on Wednesday, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) pressed White House Budget Director Shalanda Young on why the Biden administration, in its budget proposal, has no plan to shore up Social Security.
"I asked the question, why does the president's budget not lay out how you would protect Social Security?" Romney asked.
Young replied, "This president believes the existential threat to Social Security is those who want to cut it."
Romney grew increasingly frustrated as he told Young over and over again that no Republican or Democrat in the House or Senate is proposing actual cuts to Social Security benefits, "and it's dishonest to keep saying it," Romney said.
"We have a problem with Social Security and we need to address it...Why have you not proposed any action to protect Social Security?"
"This president has put it in black and white, and we look forward to seeing a plan that suggests that Social Security is off the table," Young replied. "This president believes the biggest threat to Social Security is those who want to cut it. His budget says no."
Republicans’ ‘approach’ is to negotiate with White House
Cassidy said several times on Thursday that the Republicans have an "approach," rather than a "solid plan" to prevent Social Security insolvency.
"The reason is because we have to talk to the White House because they will want a modification of it...This is a negotiation," he said.
"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 percent cut, and that's going to happen with the president asleep at the wheel."
"I think a lot of people don't want the cuts to happen," said CNN's Kaitlin Collins, who was interviewing Cassidy on Capitol Hill:
"Why hasn't the White House put up a plan? They are not doing that," Cassidy said.
Cassidy said he plans to ask Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about the Biden administration's plan for Social Security when she testifies before the Senate Finance Committee today.
"I will be asking about Social Security because I think everybody would have exhausted the bank topic by the time they get to me," he said.