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House’s largest conservative caucus calls for increase in retirement age

The Republican Study Committee (RSC), which comprises nearly 80 percent of all House Republicans, called for an increase in the retirement age in its budget proposal released Wednesday.

The RSC budget proposes raising that age for those who are not near retirement “to account for increases in life expectancy.” The budget did not provide specifics.

The budget also proposes limiting and phasing out auxiliary benefits for “high income earners.”

Without offering details, the RSC proposes “modest changes” to the primary insurance amount (PIA) benefit formula, which also would not apply to seniors near retirement, nor would it apply to the wealthiest earners.

The RSC repeatedly sounded the alarm in the budget proposal about the prospect of the Social Security fund becoming insolvent and called for a bipartisan approach to solving the issue.

“With insolvency approaching in the 10-year budget window, Congress has a moral and practical obligation to address the problems with Social Security,” the RSC proposal read. “These common-sense, incremental reforms will simply buy Congress time to come together and negotiate policies that can secure Social Security solvency for decades to come.”

The budget proposal, however, devotes significant space to railing against President Biden and his proposed tax policies, including rate hikes for the wealthiest Americans.

In releasing the budget report, the RSC sets up a potential clash with the White House, as President Biden has repeatedly tried to claim Republicans want to slash Social Security benefits.

At his State of the Union address on March 7, Biden said, “If anyone here tries to cut Social Security or Medicare or raise the retirement age, I will stop them.”

“I will protect and strengthen Social Security and make the wealthy pay their fair share,” he said.

The issue has become a sticking point ahead of the 2024 presidential election. The Biden campaign seized on a recent interview on CNBC with former President Trump, where he floated possible cuts.

“There is a lot you can do in terms of entitlements, in terms of cutting and in terms of also the theft and the bad management of entitlements, tremendous bad management of entitlements,” Trump said in the interview. “There’s tremendous amounts of things and numbers of things you can do. So I don’t necessarily agree with the statement.”

Biden responded on social media, writing, “Not on my watch.”

Trump soon walked back his remarks, saying in a subsequent interview with Breitbart, “I will never do anything that will jeopardize or hurt Social Security or Medicare … We’ll have to do it elsewhere. But we’re not going to do anything to hurt them.”

“There’s so many things we can do,” Trump said on Breitbart. “There’s so much cutting and so much waste in so many other areas, but I’ll never do anything to hurt Social Security.”

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