WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced today that he is assuming the Chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy. This is the key Finance subcommittee with the responsibility to protect and expand Social Security, address the insolvency of the multiemployer pension system, provide paid family and medical leave to America’s workers, and more.
In his first act as Chair of the Subcommittee, Brown called for the immediate replacement of Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul and Deputy Commissioner David Black. Saul and Black were key agents of the Trump agenda to systematically dismantle Social Security.
“Saul and Black are incapable of carrying out Democrats’ vision of protecting and expanding Social Security,” said Brown. “As agents of the Trump Social Security agenda, they cut the benefits that hardworking Americans have earned, attacked the Social Security Administration's employees, denied beneficiaries due process, and needlessly increased disability reviews during the COVID-19 pandemic. No one has been safe from their path of destruction.”
“Every current and future Social Security beneficiary is fortunate to have Senator Brown, a longtime Social Security champion, looking out for our interests as the chair of this critical subcommittee” said Alex Lawson, Executive Director of Social Security Works. “Senator Brown is wisely calling for the immediate replacement of Commissioner Saul and Deputy Commissioner Black, who have spent years waging war on Social Security beneficiaries and the SSA workforce. We look forward to working with Senator Brown to protect and expand our Social Security system.”
Saul and Black spent their time at the Social Security Administration implementing Trump’s amoral agenda for Social Security, including regulations that:
· Make it even harder for older, severely disabled people to access the essential income they’re qualified to receive.
· Deny disability benefits for older, severely disabled people who are not fluent in English, resulting in an estimated 100,000 people being denied more than $5 billion in benefits.
· Dramatically reduces due process protections for benefit appeals hearings by allowing SSA agency attorneys, instead of Administrative Law Judges, to preside over appeals hearings.
· Provide beneficiaries with almost no relief from harsh requirements to repay extra benefits paid due to SSA action during the COVID-19 pandemic, through no fault of the individual.
· Would throw people off benefits by significantly increasing the number of disability case reviews resulting in an estimated $2.6 billion in benefit cutoffs
Saul and Black also routinely attacked federal employees by forcing harsh union contracts that strip employees of their rights, vigorously enforced Trump’s anti-union Executive Orders and eliminated telework for employees.