Arizonans brace for cuts to Social Security and Medicare as MAGA Republicans/McCarthy reportedly hold SSA funding “hostage” over debt ceiling



Activists from AFGE in Minneapolis protest when cuts to Social Security threatened closure of SS services and field offices across the state. (Flickr) 2014

Annalisa Toni, Reporter

House Republicans and GOP Speaker Kevin McCarthy are at it again.

House Republicans are demanding debt ceiling proposals that would essentially cut almost every federal agency. 

In one report, the Republicans spending cap would “freeze” spending at FY 2022 levels or, roughly 4.5 trillion.

According to reports, the Social Security Administration needs more funding, certainly not less, and with the proposed cuts by the GOP would mean that SSA would not be able to effectively administer help for a decades long promise to working Americans—the most vulnerable, U.S. seniors.

Without SSA funding, Social Security claimants will suffer. Still, Republicans want to cut at least 23% from this vital program. According to the Washington Post report in 2017, 10,000 SSDI claimants died awaiting a chance to plead their disability cases. Covid has only increased those with claims for assistance. 

Reportedly, the Social Security Administration is one of the most fiscally responsible federal agencies and one that has managed to keep its administrative costs below 1%. 

Senior groups across the nation are rallying House Republicans to stop holding the debt limit “hostage.”

Common Dreams,  a senior advocacy group, reported, “Kevin McCarthy is holding the debt limit hostage, and can’t even get his caucus to agree on a ransom demand,” Alex Lawson, executive director of Social Security Works, told Common Dreams. “He is endangering the benefits that seniors rely on to survive, just to score political points.”

“The only solution,” Lawson added, “is for McCarthy to release his hostage and work with Democrats to pass a clean debt limit.”

In Arizona, seniors are worried.

Tura Shope, a 70-year-old retired America West communications employee who lives near downtown Phoenix told Northeast Valley News, “Social Security is my money! I worked for it. Social Security and Medicare are non-negotiable. Anyone who uses them as leverage needs to be removed from office.”

Native Arizonan, Chris Butler is working part-time packaging groceries at a near to her home supermarket. Butler lives alone and says that Social Security is her only reliable income. 

“Social Security keeps a roof over my head—without it, I would be living on the street,” Butler said.