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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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FERC rule to spark energy transmission building nationwide; Rudy Giuliani pleads not guilty to felony charges in AZ election interference case; new digital tool emerges to help MN students with FAFSA woes; WY governor to talk property tax shifts in a TeleTown Hall.

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Israel's Prime Minister calls the new ICC charges unfair. Trump's lawyers found more classified documents in Mar-a-Lago, months after an FBI's search. And a new report finds election deniers are advancing to the fall election.

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Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

Lawmakers rally for Social Security, federal budget

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Thursday, February 15, 2024   

Lawmakers and union leaders are calling on Congress for fiscal changes during the year. Along with conversations about the budget and fair pay, some lawmakers want more attention to Social Security.

The 2023 Social Security Trustee report showed trust-fund reserves could be depleted in 2034, meaning only 80% of benefits would get paid. It will fall to Congress and the White House to resolve it, but some are uncertain how it can occur given split opinions on Social Security.

Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., spoke at a rally about how taking action on Social Security speaks volumes.

"What we need is a vote in Congress on Social Security 2100 and not only extend solvency, but enhance benefits for the more than 70 million people," Larson contended.

Social Security 2100 is a bill Larson introduced to put reforms in place such as increasing benefits 2% across the board for all beneficiaries, restoring student benefits up to age 26, and improving the cost-of-living adjustment to reflect inflation. Average monthly amounts for single people are $1,700 per month but average rent prices in Connecticut are around $1,600.

Aside from Social Security, rallying lawmakers were urging their colleagues to pass a full budget next month. Months of negotiations in 2023 led to several continuing resolutions. The current two-tier continuing resolution has part of the federal government run out of funding on March 1, and other parts on March 8.

Rep. Maxwell Frost, D-Fla., said now is an inopportune time for a shutdown.

"We can't shut down any part of it at this point," Frost argued. "Not with the House crisis we have right now. Not with our veterans being left out right now. Not with retirees needing what they need right now. "

Lawmakers need to keep certain Fiscal Responsibility Act deadlines in mind. Breaching discretionary spending limits established in the bill could trigger sequestration cuts. In this case, the Office of Management and Budget has said if a budget is not in place by April 30, widespread cuts across certain federal programs will be made.

References:  
State data AARP July 2022

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