Rules Committee Approves Social Security "Lock Box" Bill For House Consideration

Rules Committee Approves Social Security "Lock Box" Bill For House Consideration

WASHINGTON - The House Rules Committee tonight approved the floor procedures for the consideration of the Republican plan to protect and preserve Social Security by placing it in a budgetary "lock box" that prevents funds from being used for other government spending.

"Americans are counting on Social Security and Medicare to be there for them in their golden years -and the lock box budget package does that," Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA) said.

Dubbed the "Herger" lock box because of its sponsor, Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA), H.R. 1259, the "Social Security and Medicare Safe Deposit Box Act of 1999," prohibits consideration of any measure in the House or Senate that spends the Social Security surplus. The Herger lock box will set aside $1.8 trillion (over ten years) for Social Security and Medicare preservation only.

The Committee approved a closed rule providing two hours of debate on the bill. The three Committees of jurisdiction -- the Rules Committee, the Budget Committee and the Ways and Means Committee -- will each control forty minutes of debate.

Dreier pointed out that for 30 years, Washington has been raiding the Social Security Trust Fund in order to pay for other government programs and mask federal deficits. The Herger bill locks away 100% of the Social Security surplus for Social Security and Medicare. This lock box can only be opened for Social Security reform and Medicare reform.