Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is leading a bipartisan coalition to help buoy Social Security among other federal trust programs that are in funding straits.
Co-sponsored by six Democrats, nine Republicans, and one Independent in both the Senate and House, the Time to Rescue United States’ Trusts (TRUST) Act aims to address the country’s endangered federal programs like the Highway Trust Fund, Medicare Part A, and Social Security insurance’s pension and disability funds as their reserves dwindle.
“There is broad recognition that we need to address the looming insolvency of our federal trust funds,” Sen. Romney said in a press release. “Congress must respond in a way which will address this long-term problem, which is coming down the pike much sooner than was expected. Our TRUST Act is a bipartisan solution which will shore up our federal trust funds and put us on a path toward a stronger fiscal future.”
The Highway Trust Fund is just one year away from exhausting its reserves, while Medicare’s hospital insurance trust fund has five years before depleting its extra funds. The Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and Disability Insurance Trust Fund are forecast to run out of their surplus in 11 years, according to a September 2020 analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, potentially leading to reduced benefits for retirees if no funding solution is found.
The trusts are funded through dedicated revenue sources that have been affected by the pandemic in some cases, making it even more urgent for Congress to address the matter, according to Romney’s press release.
The proposed legislation would create bipartisan 12-member subcommittees, or Rescue Committees, for each trust fund that will have a deadline of 180 days to draft legislation aimed at improving each program while securing long-term funding. If the committee produces a bill, it would receive expedited consideration in both chambers.
“Future generations of Americans should not be burdened by our poor financial decisions today,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said in a press release. “We must work to put the federal budget back on track to reflect our priorities while being fiscally responsible.”
In addition to Manchin, the act is co-sponsored by Sens. Todd Young (R-IN), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Angus King (I-ME), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Warner (D-VA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY). Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Ed Case (D-HI), Scott Peters (D-CA), Jodey Arrington (R-TX), and Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-GA) have introduced companion legislation in the House.