Indianapolis, Ind. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly rejected comments made this morning by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Bloomberg TV. In the interview, McConnell first expressed concern about the budget deficit, which the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has previously said is rising “primarily” due to the partisan McConnell-Ryan tax law from 2017. McConnell then called for ‘reforms’ to entitlements including Medicare and Social Security, matching comments from House Speaker Paul Ryan last December.
Donnelly said, “More than one million Hoosier seniors depend on Medicare and Social Security, benefits they earned through a lifetime of hard work. Senator McConnell’s remarks, like those of Speaker Ryan, are deeply misguided as we should not balance the budget on the backs of American seniors. I am opposed to any effort that would privatize Medicare or Social Security and I remain steadfastly committed to protecting these benefits for Hoosier retirees.”
According to data from the Treasury Department, the budget deficit has widened to $779 billion for the 2018 fiscal year. That matches data from earlier this year, when analysis from the CBO projected that the federal budget deficit would reach $1 trillion by 2020, two years earlier than previously expected, and that federal debt will rise to nearly 100% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2028, which would be the highest debt level since just after World War II. According to the CBO, these adjustments are due “primarily” to the partisan McConnell-Ryan tax law from late 2017.
Donnelly has repeatedly introduced a Balanced Budget Amendment, which would ensure responsible budgeting, while also protecting working- and middle-class families, seniors, and the economy. It would exempt the Social Security Old Age, Social Security Disability Insurance, and Medicare Part A Trust Funds so long as they remain solvent.