Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a video press conference announcing the Social Security Expansion Act of 2023. In 2021, Social Security lifted 26.3 million Americans out of poverty, but fast-rising costs and the aging population are putting benefits of current retirees and future generations at risk. This bill would expand Social Security benefits by $2,400 a year and ensure Social Security is fully funded for the next 70+ years – all without raising taxes by one penny on over 93% of American households that make $250,000 or less.
“Social Security touches the lives of every American, directly or indirectly. It impacts the lives of older Americans, people with disabilities, and wounded warriors. We must not only protect our Social Security system, but we must also strengthen and expand it,” said Senator Gillibrand. “In 2021, Social Security lifted 26.3 million Americans out of poverty, including more than 18 million older adults. We have to ensure that it’s giving retirees and their families the support they need – and the support they spent their entire lives earning. Social Security is truly a matter of survival for so many retirees and their families across New York and the country. Social Security is essential, and it’s something that I will do everything in my power to protect and strengthen.”
Nearly 90 years after Social Security was enacted, it remains one of the most popular and successful government programs in the history of the United States. Today, the nation’s older adult poverty rate is just 10.3%. Social Security provides an essential lifeline to the one in seven older adults who rely on the program for 90% or more of their income, as well as the roughly 50% of Americans who are 55 years old and older living without retirement savings. The Social Security Expansion Act would ensure the program’s solvency through nearly the end of the century and require millionaires and billionaires to finally pay their fair share into the program. This bill would also help low-income workers stay out of poverty by:
- Improving the Special Minimum Benefit;
- Restoring student benefits up to age 22 for children of disabled or deceased workers;
- Strengthening benefits for older Americans and people with disabilities;
- Increasing cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs);
- Expanding program benefits across the board.
The Social Security Expansion Act has been endorsed by more than 50 major organizations, including: Social Security Works, AFA CWA, AFSCME, Alliance for Retired Americans, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Teachers, American Postal Workers Union, BMWED/IBT, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE), United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, National Education Association, Indivisible, MoveOn, National Domestic Workers Alliance, People’s Action, Public Citizen, Care in Action, CASA, Center for Medicare Advocacy, Center for Popular Democracy, Blue Future, Church World Service, CommonDefense.us, Connecticut Citizen Action Group, Demand Progress, Health Care Awareness Month, Hunger Free America, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Just Care USA, National Partnership for Women & Families, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, NJ State Industrial Union Council, Oregonizers, Our Revolution, Right to Health Action (R2H Action), Sunrise Movement, The National Employment Law Project, Upper West Side Action Group: MoveOn/Indivisible/SwingLeft, Working Families Party, National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), Indivisible Marin, Children’s Aid, P Street, East New York Farms, Partners for Dignity & Rights, Generations United, Broadway Community, Inc., National Council of Jewish Women, New York State Public Health Association, Justice in Aging, National Women’s Law Center, Americans for Tax Fairness, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, Labor Campaign for Single Payer, and American Medical Student Association.
This bill is led by Senator Sanders (I-Vt.), Senator Warren (D-Mass.), Representative Schakowsky (D-Ill.), and Representative Hoyle (D-Ore.). In addition to Senator Gillibrand, this bill is supported by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), as well as 25 cosponsors in the House including Reps. Alma Adams (D-N.C.), Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Troy A. Carter (D-La.), Greg Casar (D-Texas), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Jesús Chuy García (D-Ill.), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Stephen F. Lynch (D-Mass.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-D.C.), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-N.J.), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).
Read the bill text here.
Read the fact sheet and full list of supporting organizations here.
Read the Social Security Administration’s analysis of the legislation here.
Read an analysis of what the world’s wealthiest people would pay under this legislation here.