Senator Orrin Hatch went to the Senate floor today to talk about the bills that he has put forward on Social Security disability. It's worth watching the recording of his speech on the issue. Hatch is clearly concerned that any disability proposal that he and other Republicans come up with will be criticized as cutting Social Security. He really, really wants the President and other Democrats to propose cuts in Social Security disability while he sits back and keeps saying, "Not good enough -- give me more." However, Hatch has yet to propose anything that would extend the life of the Disability Insurance Trust Fund. All he and his Republican counterparts in the House come up with are dubious small bore proposals that would do virtually nothing to extend the life of the Disability Insurance Trust Fund. Specifically, they are avoiding putting forward a plan to transfer income or assets from the Retirement Insurance Trust Fund to the Disability Insurance Trust Fund. We have no idea what their price for doing so really is.
There's no reason for the President to accommodate Hatch and other Republicans on this issue. The President has a plan. Republicans control the Congress. They should come up with their own plan. If they don't want this to be an election issue in 2016 they need to convince Democrats, including the President, to accept their plan. If Hatch and his Republicans can't even say what they want, it's impossible to negotiate with them.
And, I keep saying, there's a simple solution for this problem. The President can do it without help from Congress. Somehow, I think that Senator Hatch might be privately relieved if the President just took care of the problem.