In November 2021 we looked at how a bill becomes a law. School House Rock taught us in the ’70s and Politico gave us a refresher course on how the process has evolved to this day. The law-making process in theory is very direct. Congressional Representatives write a bill, the House approves it, and the Presidents loves it so much they sign it into law. We now know that the modern process is much more intricate, with a lot of debate and passing the bill back and forth in a cyclical motion. That’s partly why Social Security bills are so paradoxical. Social Security bills are drafted all the time, but few ever get off the ground.
In the year 2021 alone, there were several bills seeking to add or change the Social Security program. Among all the Social Security bills, ones that stand out are the 2100 Sacred Trust Act, 1302 Social Security Fairness Act, and 1269 Social Security and Medicare Lock-Box Act. These bills all represent positive changes for the Social Security Program and the Social Security Trust.
What these Social Security Bills Do
The Sacred Trust Act seeks to change the way COLAs are calculated, using a more accurate wage index to protect benefits against inflation. The Fairness Act would protect governmental and nongovernmental employees that receive a pension from having their benefits reduced. This only happens in certain instances, but enough to warrant a bill. Finally, the Lock-Box Act seeks to prevent the government from investing any Social Security or Medicare surplus, rather than having any surplus serve as retained earnings to be reinvested into the Social Security Trust.
These bills vary in number of co-sponsors, but that is natural. Co-sponsors are other representatives that support a bill. Bills often see an increase in co-sponsors once they pass committee; unfortunately, committees can take a long, long time to research, amend, and debate on a bill.
But this process can be expedited by public support. For example, by letting your representative know that you wish to support the Lock-Box Act, they would be more inclined to see it through. Positive change to the Social Security program is possible, and the Council is working to protect what we have and change what needs to be changed.