On the Senate Floor: Brown Urges Colleagues to Protect Social Security from Republican Plans to End It

Government and Politics

September 28, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), chairman of the Senate Finance Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy Subcommittee, spoke on the Senate Floor on the importance of protecting Social Security. This came after several Republican members in the House and Senate have made proposals to undermine the retirement security Americans have earned. Brown was joined on the floor by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

“A secure retirement shouldn’t be partisan,” said Brown on the Senate Floor. “Social Security and Medicare are two of the most popular and most unifying institutions in the country. Social Security is our government’s promise to working men and women – a promise that they will be able to retire with dignity.”

Brown is working to not only protect Social Security, but to strengthen it. In July, Brown and Wyden urged the Social Security Administration to incorporate children in ongoing outreach efforts, to help families eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Brown has also urged the Biden administration to nominate a permanent Social Security Commissioner and has continued his effort to reform and update the SSI program to allow beneficiaries to meaningfully save for emergencies.

Sen. Brown’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, are available below:

Mr./Madame President,

Everything we do here should come back to the Dignity of Work – the idea that hard work should pay off for everyone, no matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of work you do.

And when work has dignity, people have a secure retirement.

That means they can count on Medicare and Social Security, it means we protect people’s pensions, it means people make enough money to save.

It's why we saved the pensions of 100,000 Ohioans who worked their whole lives to earn a pension and peace of mind in retirement.

It’s why we are still fighting for the Delphi retirees – who lost their pensions through no fault of their own.

And it’s why we will always – always – fight back against attacks on Social Security.

A secure retirement shouldn’t be partisan.

Social Security and Medicare are two of the most popular and most unifying institutions in the country.

Social Security is our government’s promise to working men and women – a promise that they will be able to retire with dignity.

Support for Social Security cuts across party lines, geographic lines, and racial lines.

And Americans want to not only protect Social Security and Medicare – they want to make it stronger.

But Republicans always come after these programs – it’s their answer for how to pay for anything:

How do they pay for corporate hand outs? Cut Social Security.

How do they pay for tax cuts for the wealthy? Wipe out the retirement security Americans earned.

It’s always the same plan from the corporate elite and think tank extremists: some new scheme, some new way to disguise their unpopular agenda.

We heard about privatizing Social Security.

We heard about means testing it.

The details differ, but the plan is the same – to kill off Social Security.

This time, it’s Senator Rick Scott and Senate Republicans’ plan to terminate Social Security.

They want to get rid of a bedrock promise made to America’s middle class.

And it doesn’t matter to them that most Americans support Social Security.

That’s why this week, Senator Wyden and Senator Casey and I are introducing a resolution to affirm that Social Security should remain a guarantee for every American.

Because our government should work for the people, not against them.

When work has dignity, we honor the retirement security people earned.

This should be an easy decision.

I urge my Republican colleagues in this body – colleagues with health care and retirement plans paid for by taxpayers – to think about the generations of Americans who have benefited from Social Security and the generations to come, who are relying on the promise of Social Security.

I’ve listened to your speeches for years, extolling the value of hard work. I’ve also heard some of you try to run from your own plans to end Social Security.

But the American people are on to Senate Republicans.

The American people watched as you did nothing to solve the multiemployer pension crisis. They’re watching as you block the bipartisan Delphi Retiree fix.

And they’re watching as your caucus tries to end Social Security for good.

If the American people don’t need to worry about the Republican Senate Plan to end Social Security, now’s your chance to prove it.

This is your chance to live up to your own words and co-sponsor this resolution.

Show Americans that if you work hard all your life, your government, your senator, will be there for you – and that you’re not working in this body to undermine the promise of Social Security.

Senator Wyden – we’ve worked together to protect Social Security for years.

What is at stake with these attacks? Why do we need to show a united commitment to Social Security in the Senate?