Senators Shaheen, Hassan Join Colleagues in Calling on President Trump to Publicly Commit to Protecting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
Last Week, President Trump Said He’d Consider Cutting Medicare and Social Security Following the 2017 Republican Tax Law
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, joined their colleagues in calling on President Trump to retract statements that he made last week saying that he would be open to cutting earned benefits like Medicare or Social Security following the 2017 Republican tax law, which provided massive tax giveaways to multi-national corporations and the ultra-wealthy. The letter was led by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
“As a presidential candidate, you promised the American people that you would not cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. In fact, you criticized your political opponents for failing to make the same promise. Not only have you broken that promise, you have waged an all-out assault on Medicaid,” the Senators wrote. “Attempting to make up the trillion-dollar deficit created by your tax law on the backs of hard-working Americans would be a betrayal to all who consider these programs a lifeline. American workers who for decades have paid into Social Security and Medicare should not be forced to relinquish their health and retirement security to pay for your tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations.”
Senators Shaheen and Hassan have long fought to protect essential programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. In 2019, Senators Hassan and Shaheen joined their colleagues in introducing legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate the best possible price for prescription drugs to cut costs for the nearly 43 million seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D. They also cosponsored legislation to protect Medicare and Medicaid from partisan attacks by requiring a supermajority (60 votes) to make major changes to these critical health care programs.
A copy of the letter can be found below and HERE.
The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
January 28, 2020
Dear President Trump,
We are alarmed by comments you made this week while in Davos, Switzerland, that suggest you plan to cut vital entitlement programs. Asked if such cuts would be on your agenda, you responded: “At some point they will be […] toward the end of the year,” and that cutting such critical programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid would be “the easiest of all things.” We urge you to retract these statements and publicly commit to protecting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid for the remainder of your Presidency.
Social Security and Medicare are vital programs that millions of Americans earned and rely on. Medicare provides quality health insurance for 44 million older Americans and people with disabilities. Social Security provides critical income for 64 million Americans. Cutting these programs would be a direct attack on working Americans, and would violate the repeated promises you made not to cut Social Security or Medicare as a presidential candidate.
In 2017, you signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), legislation passed by a Republican-controlled Congress that lavished the wealthy and corporations with significant tax cuts. Not only did these tax cuts go overwhelmingly to the wealthy – further fueling economic inequality– they also exploded our nation’s deficit. The tax cuts appear to be adding even more to the deficit than the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected soon after TCJA’s enactment – due largely to dramatic reductions in corporate tax revenue.
Your tax law is fueling the budget deficit used by you and members of your administration to justify deep cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Following its passage, CBO estimated your tax law would add $1.9 trillion to the deficit over the 2018-27 period. Indeed, the Department of Treasury recently reported that the federal deficit surpassed $1 trillion in 2019. We will not allow the higher deficits brought about by your tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations to be used as a cynical justification to fulfill the long-held Republican endeavor to destroy Social Security and Medicare.
As a presidential candidate, you promised the American people that you would not cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. In fact, you criticized your political opponents for failing to make the same promise. Not only have you broken that promise, you have waged an all-out assault on Medicaid. Attempting to make up the trillion dollar deficit created by your tax law on the backs of hard-working Americans would be a betrayal to all who consider these programs a lifeline. American workers who for decades have paid into Social Security and Medicare should not be forced to relinquish their health and retirement security to pay for your tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations.
We urge you to immediately clarify your plans for these programs, direct your administration officials to refrain from cutting or otherwise attacking Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and publicly commit to the American people that you will not cut these earned benefits for the remainder of your Presidency. The American people who have paid for and rely on these programs deserve nothing less.