Earlier this year, Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) released an 11-point governing agenda for his party. That agenda includes a plan to “sunset” Social Security and Medicare if Congress doesn’t vote to reauthorize them every five years. Scott isn’t just a random senator — he’s the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. When he says he wants to destroy Social Security and Medicare, he is speaking for his party.
Democrats, including President Biden, have rightfully slammed this plan and vowed to make it a central issue in November’s midterm elections. But new polling from Data for Progress shows that there’s a more effective message than simply slamming Scott’s plan: contrasting the Scott proposal with Democratic plans to expand Social Security benefits.
With the midterms fast approaching, we’re putting Social Security front and center. Become a Social Security Works member with a $7 donation today!
The polling finds that telling Independent voters about Scott's plan and Democrats’ opposition to it makes them 39 points more likely to vote for a Democrat. But telling them about the Scott plan and Democrats’ proposal to increase Social Security benefits makes them 58 points more likely to vote for a Democrat. That’s a 19-point difference — a significant margin in a year where frontline Democrats are facing tough re-election odds.
Democrats have several plans to protect and expand Social Security benefits. President Biden ran on a promise to strengthen Social Security and increase benefits. In the House, Representative John Larson (D-Conn.), chairman of the Social Security Subcommittee, is the sponsor of Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust. This bill is co-sponsored by over 200 House Democrats, including both progressives and moderates.
There’s a clear contrast between Democrats and Republicans on Social Security. But most voters aren’t hearing about it. The Data for Progress polling shows that 65 percent of Independent voters have heard "nothing at all" about Scott's plan to “sunset” Social Security and Medicare. Only 5 percent of Independent voters have heard "a lot" about it.
Scott’s plan has been public since February. At this point, it’s clear that the mainstream media is not going to cover it on their own. Democrats need to raise the salience of Social Security as an issue by having hearings and holding votes on expanding benefits.
We aren’t the only ones calling for this vote — so are a wide swath of House Democrats. The Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the Task Force on Aging and Family recently sent a joint letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urging her to bring Social Security expansion to the House floor for a vote.
It’s time to get every member of Congress on the record: Do they support the Democratic plan to expand Social Security benefits? Or do they support the Republican plan to destroy Social Security? Become a Social Security Works member with a $7 donation today!
Voters want to know the answer before November. Democrats should make sure they do.
Social Security Works