Reps. Tom Cole (R-OK) and John Delaney (D-MD) plan to introduce a bill this Congress that would create a Social Security commission to propose changes to the program, Cole's office confirmed to TPM on Monday.
The bill's language and timing has not been finalized, but Cole, a close ally of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and Delaney co-sponsored similar legislation last year. ...
Last year's bill would have created a 13-member commission to produce recommendations to keep Social Security solvent for 75 years. If tax revenue were transferred from the retirement to the disability fund to avoid the 2016 benefits cliff for the latter program, both funds are projected to start running out of money in 2033.
One member would have been appointed by the president, and each caucus leader in Congress would have picked three members, under last year's bill. They would be tasked with issuing recommendations to Congress one year after the commission's creation. Those recommendations, if approved by nine of the commission's 13 members, would then be expedited to the House floor for a vote, with no amendments allowed.
Cole outlined to The Hill some of the proposals that he thought the commission would recommend.
“The commission would probably gradually raise retirement age, it would probably look at chained CPI, would probably look at means-testing and probably look at some sort of revenue, or reduce benefits for upper-income people,” he said. “Then you have to vote.” ...This just looks like Republicans looking for bipartisan cover for benefit cuts. There's no reason for Democrats to cooperate with this. Republicans are in the majority in both houses of Congress. If they're willing to vote for benefit cuts, they get them through without Democratic votes. Even the filibuster won't work for Democrats on this because it can go through the budget reconciliation process which only requires a majority vote. If Republicans are unwilling to vote for benefit cuts, why should Democrats?