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Tags: mike rounds | social security | republicans | sunset | entitlement programs

Sen. Mike Rounds: 'Vast Majority' of Republicans Don't Want to Sunset Social Security

By    |   Monday, 13 February 2023 10:07 AM EST

Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., says it's about time lawmakers think of Social Security and other entitlement programs similarly to defense spending.

"We're never going to not fund defense. But at the same time we — every single year, we look at how we make it better," Rounds said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" program.

"And I think it's about time we start talking about Social Security and making it better."

Rounds warned that Congress needs to act relatively soon to save Social Security and Medicare and ensure the programs are available for future generations.

"In the next 11 years, we have to have a better plan in place than what we do today," Rounds told CNN. "Or we're going to see – under existing circumstances – some reductions of as much as 24% in some sort of a benefit. So, let's start talking now because it's easier to fix it now than it would be five years or six years from now."

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., last week introduced a bill to strengthen Social Security and Medicare after President Joe Biden accused him of trying to cut the entitlement programs during his State of the Union speech.

Rounds told CNN that most Republicans don't agree with Scott's plan to sunset entitlement programs. That would require Congress to approve the program periodically.

"The vast majority of us would say that we prefer to look at it in a different direction, one of managing it, as opposed to a discussion about having everything start over again," Rounds said.

"We should be saying, let's plan now, so that Social Security has a long run ahead of it, more than 75 years. And why don't we start talking about the long-term plans, instead of trying to scare one another?"

Rounds also told CNN that he saw ways to improve Social Security and Medicare.

Regarding Social Security, he said possibly "moving up by a couple of months" the time when full benefits start, or changing the amount of income subject to program-related taxes.

"Simply looking away from it and pretending like there's no problems with Social Security is not an appropriate or responsible thing to do," said Rounds, who added, "Republicans want to see Social Security be successful and be improved."

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Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., says it's about time lawmakers think of Social Security and other entitlement programs similarly to defense spending.
mike rounds, social security, republicans, sunset, entitlement programs
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2023-07-13
Monday, 13 February 2023 10:07 AM
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