On August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt signed into law landmark legislation as part of the New Deal. The promise: work hard, pay your fair share, and retire with dignity knowing that you will have a reliable source of income to count on. For 76 years, Social Security has provided millions of Americans with peace of mind and financial independence. It has also been strengthened and expanded over the years to protect individuals in case of disability or the death of a spouse. Today, over 55 million Americans rely on the monthly retirement, disability, and survivor benefits that they receive from Social Security.
During these difficult economic times, however, Social Security as we know it is at stake. There is a great debate going on in this country about the future of government programs and spending as a whole. Recently, as required by the Budget Control Act of 2011, Congress has formed the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. It has been charged with the tremendous task of identifying between $1.2 trillion and $1.5 trillion in budget cuts over the next 10 years to reduce our nation's deficit. Unfortunately, cuts to, or a restructuring of, Social Security and other important programs are on the table.
Let me be clear: Social Security did not contribute to our nation's deficit and its challenges are manageable. In order to ensure the long-term success of Social Security, we need a responsible plan that creates jobs and invests in our economy, not one that attempts to balance the budget on the backs of seniors and other vulnerable communities. As we celebrate the 76th anniversary of Social Security, I pledge to continue doing everything in my power to protect and improve this vital program for this and future generations to come. I will continue working hard to oppose any cuts to Social Security benefits, efforts to raise the retirement age, and privatization. That is my promise to my constituents and the American people.