Brown to Reintroduce Harkin Bill to Strengthen Benefits, Extend Life of Social Security Next Year

During Senate Finance Committee Hearing Today, Brown Announces He Will Reintroduce Sen. Harkin’s Strengthening Social Security Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a Senate Finance Committee hearing today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced plans to reintroduce legislation that would strengthen benefits for seniors and extend the life of Social Security.

“American seniors have had a steadfast ally in Senator Harkin. He has led the fight to ensure that people who work hard can retire with dignity,” Brown said. “But with even middle-income seniors relying on Social Security for at least two-thirds of their retirement income, it’s critical that we advance the Strengthening Social Security Act – expanding benefits, strengthening the program’s future, and making retirement more secure for all Americans.”   

Next year, Brown will reintroduce the Strengthening Social Security Act – championed by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) who will retire at the end of the month. The bill would extend the solvency of the Social Security Trust Fund, which nearly two in three Americans rely on for at least half of their income in old age.

“I could not be more pleased that Senator Brown has decided to champion this legislation in the next Congress. Senator Brown’s commitment to Social Security is unrivaled, and seniors should be thrilled to have an ally like Senator Brown on their side,” said Harkin. “Social Security is the most successful government program in our nation’s history and this legislation will make it even stronger for generations to come.”

The current legislation, which Brown cosponsored, would: 

  • Strengthen Benefits by Reforming the Social Security Benefit Formula;
  • Ensure that Cost of Living Adjustments Adequately Reflect the Living Expenses of Retirees; and
  • Improve the Long Term Financial Condition of the Trust Fund.

As chairman of the Finance Committee's Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions and Family Policy, Brown has held a series of hearings on the current retirement crisis and Social Security’s fundamental role in retirement security. In May 2014, Brown chaired a hearing entitled “Strengthening Social Security to Meet the Needs of Tomorrow’s Retirees,” that examined how Social Security can be expanded to meet the retirement crisis. In Feb. 2014, Brown chaired the first Congressional hearing on the “myRA” retirement plan for low- and middle-income workers that was proposed by President Obama in his 2014 State of the Union Address. In Dec. 2013, Brown’s hearing examined “The Role of Social Security, Defined Benefits, and Private Retirement Accounts in the Face of the Retirement Crisis” and addressed the decline of defined benefit plans, the emergence of defined contribution plans, and Social Security’s fundamental role in retirement security.

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