House Ways and Means Committee Republicans countered with this:The 2011 budget plan presented this week by the House Republican Majority strips $1.7 billion away from the Social Security Administration (SSA) for the remainder of the year, a cut so drastic that SSA would need to impose the equivalent of a month of furloughs. ...
House Republicans have proposed a $1.7 billion reduction in SSA funding for the remainder of 2011. That includes:
* Cutting SSA’s operating budget by over a billion dollars (8.5%) below what’s needed for 2011. That level is $506 million below what SSA actually spent in 2010 to process claims and operate Social Security offices.
* Cutting an additional $500 million by draining SSA’s reserve account. Most of the money in reserve is already allocated for this year’s expenses and the rest is budgeted for next year’s planned information technology improvements.
* Rescinding an additional $118 million from funds already set aside to build a new National Computer Center, which could delay equipping this mission-critical project.
Democrats today made outrageous claims that the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) offices “would shut down” due to a proposed administrative budget reduction, a claim which is false and based on hypothetical scenarios. Despite the Democrats’ irresponsible scare tactics, the facts show that the Republicans' proposed one percent cut will not harm seniors’ benefits. Furthermore, any decisions to furlough workers – another highly misleading claim made by the Democrats – would result only if that decision were made by the Administration.
Here is a look at the facts.
The Democrats’ claim of $1.7 billion in cuts is based on the President’s budget request from last year.
The proposed 2011 budget plan from House Republicans would reduce the SSA’s administrative budget by only one percent ($125 million) compared to the current level.
In point of fact, the Republican statement is flatly wrong unless they have already altered their proposed budget for this fiscal year. The Republicans own budget summary shows them proposing a $625 million reduction for Social Security from FY 2010 and a $997.6 million reduction from the President's requested FY 2011 budget. That is a lot more than 1%, however you look at it. Republicans do not dispute that they would take away all money needed to construct a new National Computer Center for Social Security at the same time as they criticize the agency for not constructing the National Computer Center faster.