BISMARCK, ND — This weekend, the president issued an executive action that would defer the payroll tax that funds both Social Security and Medicare. The tax will still be owed, and both programs are at risk as the president vowed to make the cuts permanent. The order was part of a set of actions that fell woefully short of the relief package the GOP could have achieved by compromising across the aisle.
The House passed the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act almost three months ago. The Senate proposed the $1 trillion HEALS Act days before important portions of the CARES Act were scheduled to run out, including the $600 unemployment benefit. Last week, House Democrats offered to meet in the middle. The president left D.C., and his advisors walked away from the negotiating table.
Dem-NPL Communications Director Alex Rohr said:
‘“The president’s reckless plan puts Social Security and Medicare, which thousands of North Dakotans rely on, at serious risk during a national crisis. His promise of permanent cuts would break the most revered compact between the U.S. government and its citizens, who have paid into these programs for decades. Sen. Cramer spoke in favor of cutting Social Security, but we’re not hearing anything from Rep. Armstrong. Since he apparently doesn’t want the job, we need to elect Zach Raknerud who will fight for North Dakotans, young and old, to have access to healthcare and benefits they’ve already paid for.”
“The president is unilaterally cutting unemployment benefits for people out of work through no fault of their own and passing costs onto the state of North Dakota. This unfunded mandate wouldn’t be happening if Republicans in Congress had done their homework and compromised. This nation is in a serious economic and public health crisis. Our leaders need to start acting like it.”