Washington, D.C. – NOW President Terry O’Neill said today that a plan being floated on Capitol Hill to establish a new deficit commission in exchange for eliminating automatic budget cuts known as the sequester puts Social Security and Medicare at risk.
The Senate Budget Committee is scheduled to take up the 2016 federal spending resolution next week, and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) is said to be planning on offering an amendment that would establish a new deficit commission in exchange for getting rid of the sequester. This proposal closely resembles the failed Simpson-Bowles deal that would have cut benefits and raised the retirement age.
“The last thing women need is a new ‘catfood commission’ like the original Simpson-Bowles, which sought to appease wealthy interests on the backs of the most vulnerable older people,” says Terry O’Neill. “A vote for a mini-Simpson Bowles is a vote to push millions of women into poverty and out of the middle class by imposing cuts, blocking expansion of benefits, and shielding the wealthiest from paying their fair share into the system.”
“Sequestration is a horrendously dangerous budget gimmick that should be rejected outright—without trading lifeline protections like Social Security in the process. Mark Warner and other senators should know better than to put women and families at risk with harmful benefit cuts. Make no mistake: throwing Social Security under the bus is bad politics as well as bad policy.”
“The choice isn’t between the wrong-headed austerity of sequestration and the failed austerity plan of Simpson-Bowles,” says Terry O’Neill. “Congress must choose to be on the side of women and their families, and against cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”