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Cummings Commemorates 81st Anniversary of Social Security

Aug 15, 2016
Press Release

 

Cummings Commemorates 81st Anniversary of Social Security

Warns Proposed Budget Cuts Could Prolong Wait Times and Service Delays 

 

Washington, D.C. (Aug. 14, 2016) – Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement to mark the 81st anniversary of the date on which President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act of 1935:

“The Social Security program is the bedrock of our nation’s social safety net and one of our greatest legislative achievements. Today, it ensures that more than 50 million seniors – nearly 90% of the American population over the age of 65 – receive the benefits they have earned through their lifetime of work.  It also lifts millions of Americans – including more than one million children – out of poverty.

“Sadly, in recent years, the Republican-controlled Congress has failed to adequately fund the day-to-day operations of the Social Security Administration, which is located in my district in Baltimore, hurting the tens of millions of Americans who seek services from the agency every year. 

“Senseless budget cuts have already resulted in extended wait times for seniors calling Social Security’s 800 number, reduced operating hours at the field offices visited by more than 40 million Americans annually, and delays that are averaging more than 500 days for the more than one million Americans waiting for adjudicative hearings.  Underfunding the Social Security Administration has also affected the agency’s efforts to modernize its 40-year-old IT infrastructure and address evolving cyber risks.

“If the additional cuts in the Republicans’ Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations measures are implemented, administrative funds for Social Security would fall below the funding levels provided in Fiscal Year 2016.  Continuing to shortchange Social Security will only worsen already unacceptable wait times and service delays, and it could impede efforts to combat fraud and lead to extended employee furloughs.

“Congress should reject these senseless cuts and ensure the Social Security Administration has the resources it needs to provide the services the American people have earned.”

114th Congress