This week, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) led more than a dozen of his colleagues in a letter to President Biden, urging him to nominate a Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner to serve at the Social Security Administration.
The Social Security Administration has been without permanent leadership for more than a year, making it difficult to address longstanding challenges that the agency faces in providing service to Americans who rely on these benefits.
There are 5,117 Scioto County Residents currently benefiting from SSI benefits.
The senators addressing the cause included Tom Carper (D-DE), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).
The letter stated, “We write today to urge the nomination of a Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner to serve as Senate-confirmed leaders for the Social Security Administration (SSA) and carry out the responsibilities of the agency.”
In the letter, the senators addressed the need, explaining there are 179 million workers and 70 million people receiving Social Security and Supplemental Income Benefits, which is more than one in every six.
Recent U.S. Census Bureau reports show that Social Security provides over half of the income for older adults, and nearly all of their income for one in four older adults. Social Security continues to be one of the largest anti-poverty programs in the country, lifting over 22 million Americans out of poverty.
According to the senators, the Social Security Commissioner is directly responsible for all programs administered by the agency, including state-administered programs directed by SSA. Nominating and confirming a permanent Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner would provide accountable leadership to the agency and reassure the public of SSA’s commitment to supporting the vulnerable populations that rely on its programs.
The senators also claim that employee satisfaction is falling at SSA, and SSA employees report feelings of exhaustion at among the highest rates of any federal agency.
“Permanent, Senate-confirmed leadership at the agency will help improve this longstanding challenge for the agency and its employees,” the letter read.
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