April 04,2007

Baucus Slams Biggs Recess Appointment

President forces rejected nominee Biggs into number-two post at vital agency

Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today strongly
condemned the recess appointment of Andrew Biggs as Deputy Commissioner of Social Security. Biggs, a champion of privatizing Social Security, was first nominated for the number two spot at Social Security in 2006, but was not confirmed. In February of this year, Baucus announced that the Finance panel would not take up Biggs’s nomination because his support for the failed idea of privatization would reopen a settled debate about the future of Social Security reform.

“Prospects for getting real Social Security reform anytime soon just took a big hit with this recess appointment. This administration is clearly not serious about leaving behind the failed schemes of the past and moving on to constructive discussions about the future of Social Security,” Baucus said. “Andrew Biggs has a long history as an ideological promoter of Social Security privatization, an idea the American people resoundingly rejected, and he was deemed unfit for this post. I’m troubled not only by the constitutional end run around the Senate here, but by the White House’s willful disregard of the American people’s concerns.”

The proposal to privatize Social Security would have diverted, or “carved out,” payroll taxes from
the benefit pool into private savings accounts. That plan would have shortened Social Security’s
ability to pay full benefits by 11 years, forced $5 trillion in borrowing over 20 years, and caused
deep cuts in benefits for future retirees.

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