Today, Senator Brian Schatz laid out a plan, along with Senator Tom Harkin from Iowa, that will expand and enhance Social Security for Hawaii's seniors and future generations. The Harkin-Schatz bill will enhance and add longevity to the Social Security program, increase benefits by about $65 per month, allow the real costs that seniors face to be considered when calculating benefits, and remove the wage cap to make it fair for all Americans.
"Families in Hawaii and across the country depend on Social Security as a safety net, and it is our responsibility to ensure that those who have paid and continue to pay into the system can retire without fear of financial insecurity," said Senator Schatz. "By enhancing this program, we are putting more money in the pockets of seniors, while extending the long-term viability of Social Security. In Hawaii, one in six people rely on Social Security, and it is irresponsible for Washington politicians to cut this program that these families depend on. By working together with Senator Harkin, it is time for the Senate to take the lead in expanding and enhancing this program for our current seniors and the next generation."
"Americans of all walks of life are facing a retirement crisis and are deeply worried that they will not have enough money to live on when they stop working. We need to do more to ensure that after a lifetime of hard work our seniors are able to retire with dignity," said Senator Harkin. "That's why Senator Schatz and I have introduced legislation to strengthen Social Security by expanding benefits, extending the life of the Trust Fund, and ensuring that everyone pays into Social Security equally. I'm proud to have Senator Schatz as a cosponsor of S. 567, the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013 and we will continue to fight to protect, preserve, and strengthen Social Security in the months ahead."
"The Harkin-Schatz Bill is not only important to today's Hawaii seniors, but it will improve Social Security for future generations in our state," said State Representative Chris Lee. "I am here today to support this legislation because we need to have a meaningful conversation on how best to expand Social Security and make it more solvent. I'm so glad that Senators Schatz and Harkin have taken the lead on strengthening one of our nation's most important social programs."
Groups supporting the Harkin-Schatz bill include: AFL-CIO, AFSCME, the Alliance for Retired Americans, Campaign for Community Change, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans, the National Organization for Women (NOW), the National Education Association, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Strengthen Social Security Coalition, Social Security Works, the United Automobile Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), and United Steelworkers.