Pressure for Early Action by Congress
Broadening the social security system to ensure virtually every worker who retires at 65 a regular income for the remainder of his life, with adequate provision for his wife or widow and minor children, is on the program of the Eisenhower administration for the present session of Congress. Expansion and liberalization of old-age insurance has strong bipartisan support and any legislation to this end which carries administration endorsement is certain of adoption whenever it can be brought to a vote.
The 1952 platforms of both parties called for extension of old-age and survivors insurance to sizeable groups now lacking protection against the economic hazards of advancing years. President Eisenhower urged universal coverage of the working population in his campaign speeches and in his State of the Union message, Feb. 2, he said old-age insurance “should be promptly extended to cover millions of citizens who have been left out of the social security system.”
At a conference with congressional leaders Feb. 9, the President classed legislation to broaden the social security system as a “must” for the 1953 session, but doubt that action would be taken this year was raised ten days later when Chairman Reed (R., N. Y.) of the House Ways and Means Committee appointed a subcommittee to make an exhaustive study of the whole problem of old-age protection. The subcommittee is to consider, among other things, a series of proposals for drastic changes in the method of financing old-age benefits; its chairman, Rep. Curtis (R., Neb.), advocates a pay-as-you-go plan to replace the present old-age and survivors insurance trust fund.