H.R. 491 restores fiscal honesty to the Social Security Trust Funds. The bill would establish an independent bi-partisan Board of Trustees to administer and invest the funds, essentially preventing the federal government from using the funds to offset deficit spending. H.R. 491 would remove investment restrictions imposed on the Trust Fund and prevent the federal government from continuing to dip into those funds to offset real deficit levels.
I am adamantly against the raiding of federal trust funds, especially Social Security, by the government. The Clinton administration recently raided federal pension funds order to pay debts that the federal government itself is responsible for. I believe these trust funds belong to the people who have contributed to them, not the federal government. Beneficiaries have a right to see that their money is managed in their best interests, not in the best interests of politics.
The administration chose to raid these funds because the debt ceiling limit, which is the maximum amount the federal government is authorized to spend, had expired. The debt limit is congressionally imposed in order to force the federal government not to spend taxpayer money beyond a certain point. The raiding of any federal trust fund by any administration in order to circumvent the debt ceiling raises legal and constitutional questions.
On December 14, 1995, the House of Representatives passed legislation with my support, by a margin of 228-184, to enforce the public debt limit and protect federal trust funds. H.R. 2621, sponsored by Chairman Archer of the Ways and Means Committee, would prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury from divesting money from the Social Security, Medical Hospital Insurance, federal retirement, or other trust funds except for the express purpose of paying owed benefits or meeting program administration expenses. H.R. 2621 would prevent the Treasury Secretary from refraining to properly credit federal trust fund balances.
I will continue to protect the interests of senior citizens and federal retirees, especially when it comes to their retirement incomes. No White House administration has the authority to risk these trust funds for their own political gain.
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