Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
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Senate Proposal Would Address Trust Fund Insolvency Accelerated by COVID Recession

Jul 23, 2020 | Social Security

For Immediate Release

The next COVID relief bill could incorporate the bipartisan TRUST Act, a bill which would establish bipartisan bicameral commissions to address the long-term solvency of major trust funds. A recent Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget analysis found that the highway trust fund is slated to exhaust its reserves in 2021, the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund in 2024, the Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund in the mid 2020s, and the Social Security Old Age and Survivors Trust Fund in 2031. The TRUST Act would create a separate bipartisan commission for each federal trust fund program that spends more than $20 billion per year and is projected to be exhausted by 2035. Any recommendations from the commissions would receive a fast-tracked vote in Congress.

The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

Politicians cannot continue to ignore the finances of some of the most important government programs. We’ve known these programs were in trouble for years, and the current economic crisis has only made things worse.

The highway trust fund will likely run out of reserves next year, and Social Security is only a decade behind. When today’s youngest retirees turn 73, they can expect an abrupt 23 percent cut in their Social Security benefits under current law. This is no longer about saving these programs for our grandchildren. The benefits of our grandparents are vulnerable.

The TRUST Act doesn’t cut these important programs – it brings policymakers together to identify bipartisan solutions to secure the future of these programs for tens of millions of seniors and disabled workers and hundreds of millions of workers. This common-sense proposal has the backing of members of both parties in the House and Senate.

We should be clear: the number one priority right now should be addressing the current economic and public health crisis. But over the longer term, the best way to secure the economy is to couple fiscal support today with long-term reforms that bring our fiscal situation under better control. The TRUST Act sets up a thoughtful process to secure our largest trust funds for current and future generations.

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Click here for our previous analysis of the TRUST Act and here for a list of quotes of support.

For more information, please contact John Buhl, director of media relations, at buhl@crfb.org.