On Monday, Senate Republicans, led by Senator Mitt Romney (R – Utah), unveiled their Time to Rescue United States Trusts Act (TRUST) which purports to restore and strengthen federal trust funds, i.e. Social Security and Medicare. The TRUST ACT is a sub-provision of the HEALS ACT, the Republican coronavirus proposed relief bill. Congress is currently debating a second stimulus package in response to the coronavirus pandemic. These bills could possibly extend unemployment benefits and provide a second round of stimulus checks.
The TRUST Act calls for creation of committees to shore up the programs and control debt over the long term. Bills advanced by the committees would be fast-tracked. The non-profit group, Social Security Works attacked the GOP proposal as a closed door attempt to cut Social Security. Group President, Nancy Altman, says “It is a way to undermine the economic security of Americans without political accountability.” She also accused Republicans of using the pandemic as cover for slashing Social Security.
Senate Republicans claim the Social Security, Medicare and federal highway trust funds are doomed to run out of money in the next few years. Democrats claim the recent tax cuts ran up the national debt; thus stoking the fires of trust fund insolvency. Republicans claim the COVID-19 pandemic has created an insolvency crisis that may occur much sooner. The solutions involve raising taxes, cutting benefits or some combination of both.