Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker and Members, I rise in support of the 54 million retirees, disabled workers, children and spouses in our country who currently receive Social Security. For 75 years, Social Security has served as a promise to the men and women who worked hard all their lives to make this country great that they could look forward to financial security later in their lives.
Social Security was designed to be one leg of a three-legged stool. Unfortunately, the other two legs--savings and pensions--aren't there for many seniors. Only 41 percent of seniors have employer-sponsored pensions. Three out of five senior households have no retirement savings at all, and one in three seniors rely on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their entire income.
The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction should not look at Social Security as a way to pay down our national debt or as a way to offset tax cuts for the most fortunate in our country. Social Security is not in crisis. It presently has a surplus of over $2.6 trillion--enough to pay its obligations in full over the next 25 years.
Social Security needs to be reformed over the long term. These reforms need to be debated in proper order inside the appropriate committees in the House and Senate and not hastily put together. I ask my colleagues to stand together with America's seniors and support a strong, robust Social Security program.