REPORT FROM THE PCUSA LEGISLATIVE & ELECTORAL ACTION COMMISSION

Dear Comrades,

The Legislative & Electoral Action Commission (LEAC) has set some very important legislative priorities for our Party cadre to work on. We call on all comrades to make an appointment with your congressional representative in his or her district office to discuss these. This is one aspect of our work that we should not overlook. In addition to putting congress on notice that the people are watching, this is also a good way to mobilize people locally. REMEMBER: By law, congress works for you! Make them do their jobs! Don’t abandon this aspect of the class struggle. Here is the information:

The Protect the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (HR 2474 and S 1306)

When workers organize, mobilize, and strike together we can build power and win the wages, benefits, and working conditions we need and deserve. But that can be extremely difficult when our current laws keep the balance of power tilted in favor of CEOs and the super-rich.

The problem is, when CEOs and the 1% hold so much power, our economy and laws stay rigged in favor of the wealthy. They get richer while our wages stay stagnant and our working conditions get worse. We need big change.

The House of Representatives may vote on the PRO Act soon, so we must push our Members of Congress to do the right thing and support this bill.

 

The Medicare for All Act (HR 1384 & S 1129)

Although the goal of our Party is a National Health Service (NHS) HR 1384 is s step toward that goal. Medicare for all means just what it says. The Medicare program would be expanded to cover everyone, just like Social Security does. If you are hurt and disabled you need medical attention, not an insurance plan. That’s the point to drive home to your congressional representative. We need preventive care. These trips to the emergency room are bankrupting us all! 

 

The Social Security 2100 Act (HR 860)

Cuts Taxes, Strengthens Benefits, Ensures Social Security Through This Century

The Social Security 2100 Act Expands Benefits

  • Benefit bump for current and new beneficiaries – Provides an increase for all beneficiaries that is the equivalent of 2% of the average benefit. The United States faces a retirement crisis and a modest boost in Social Security benefits strengthens the one leg of the retirement system that that is universal and the most reliable. [Sec. 101]
  • Protection against inflation – Improves the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) formula to better reflect the costs incurred by seniors through adopting a CPI-E formula.  This provision will help seniors who spend a greater portion of their income on health care and other necessities.  Improved inflation protection will especially help older retirees and widows who are more likely to rely on Social Security benefits as they age.  [Sec. 102]
  • Protect low income workers – No one who paid into the system over a lifetime should retire into poverty.  The new minimum benefit will be set at 25% above the poverty line and would be tied to wage levels to ensure that the minimum benefit does not fall behind.  [Sec. 103]
  • Cut taxes for beneficiaries – Over 12 million Social Security recipients would see a tax cut[ii].  Presently, your Social Security benefits are taxed if you have non-Social Security income exceeding $25,000 for an individual or $32,000 for couples.  This would raise that threshold to $50,000 and $100,000 respectively. [Sec. 104]
  • Holding SSI, Medicaid, and CHIP Beneficiaries Harmless – Ensures that any increase in benefits from the bill do not result in a reduction in SSI benefits or loss of eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP. [Sec. 105]

The Social Security 2100 Act Strengthens the Trust Fund

  • Have millionaires and billionaires pay the same rate as everyone else – Presently, payroll taxes are not collected on wages over $132,900. This legislation would apply the payroll tax to wages above $400,000.  This provision would only affect the top 0.4% of wage earners. [Sec. 201, 202]
  • 50 cents per week to keep the system solvent – Gradually phase in an increase in the contribution rate beginning in 2020 so that by 2043, workers and employers would pay 7.4% instead of 6.2% todayFor the average worker this would mean paying an additional 50 cents per week every year to keep the system solvent. [Sec. 203]
  • Social Security Trust Fund Established – Social Security provides all-in-one retirement, survivor, and disability benefits funded through the dedicated FICA contribution paid by workers. There are technically two trust funds, Old-Age and Survivors (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI), and that are usually referred to as the Social Security Trust Fund. This provision combines the OASI & DI trust funds into one Social Security Trust Fund, to ensure that all benefits will be paid.  [Sec. 204]

[i] Based on the independent analysis of the SS 2100 Act by SSA’s Chief Actuary that estimates it will keep the OASDI Trust Fund solvent beyond 2092.

Comrades! Please make an appointment with the district office of your congressional representative to talk about these important issues: 

  1. Pro act (HR 2474)
  2. Medicare for All (HR 1384)
  3. Social Security 2100 Act (HR 860)

FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE HERE: https://www.house.gov/representatives

Comradely regards,

 

Joseph F. Hancock

Chair, LEAC