March 21, 2024

Secretary Yellen to Cassidy: “The President Doesn’t Have a Plan” to Save Social Security

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) today pressed U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on President Biden’s lack of a plan to address the looming insolvency of both Social Security and Medicare during a U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing. Cassidy emphasized that President Biden has refused to work with Congress to create a plan that has a chance of becoming law and has criticized him for only suggesting tax hikes.

After pushing Secretary Yellen on the Treasury Department’s work on Social Security, Cassidy received a stunning admission from the secretary that President Biden has no plan to protect Social Security despite campaign promises to the contrary. 

“The president theoretically has a plan,” said Dr. Cassidy. “[I]f there’s not been a calculation of what the tax rate would have to be on those making over $400,000 a year… we haven’t done the math.”  

“The president doesn’t have a plan,” admitted Secretary Yellen. “He has principles. He wants to work with Congress to find a way to protect Social Security and extend its solvency beyond 2034.”

“If the president wishes to work with Congress, why does he continually demagogue Republicans?” responded Cassidy. “There’s going to be a 23 – 25% cut for those receiving benefits now, which will double the rate of poverty among the elderly—double the rate of poverty among the elderly—in eight years, and he doesn’t have a plan. Madam Secretary, how can he justify not having a plan when he’s been in office for three years already?”

“Madam Secretary, has not worked with us at all,” continued Cassidy. “We have not heard from the president one peep, except to hear demagoguery rhetoric yelled at us… American people who rely on Social Security—when can they expect the president to come to us and ask to begin to work on that plan?”

Cassidy went on to press Yellen on President Biden’s plan to address Medicare insolvency as well. 


Cassidy led a bipartisan working group to preserve and protect Social Security.  Last spring, he released the inaugural Bill on the Hill video where he asked Capitol Hill visitors from across the country their thoughts on the looming 23% benefit cut to Social Security and presented his “Big Idea” to save, strengthen, and secure America’s retirement system.

Cassidy has discussed the “Big Idea” at a public forum with AARP on the future of Social Security, outlined his Social Security plan in a fireside chat with the Bipartisan Policy Committee, and authored an op-ed in the National ReviewWashington Examiner, and Wall Street Journal.

In March 2023, the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds moved up the Social Security insolvency deadline a full year. One month prior, the Congressional Budget Office updated its estimates saying Social Security is heading toward a financial cliff in 2032. They found Medicare and Social Security spending rapidly outpacing federal tax revenues further hastening the insolvency deadlines.