April 28,1999

Roth Statement on Archer/Shaw Social Security Proposal

WASHINGTON -- The following is the statement of Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE) regarding the Social Security reform proposal outlined today by Congressman Bill Archer (R-TX), Chairman, House Committee on Ways & Means, and Congressman Clay Shaw (R-FL), Chairman, Ways & Means Social Security Subcommittee.

"I applaud Congressmen Bill Archer and Clay Shaw for putting forward their proposal to preserve and protect Social Security -- which builds on personal retirement accounts, guarantees benefits, avoids payroll tax increases, and provides for permanent solvency. I intend to carefully review the Archer/Shaw proposal, and look forward to working with them as we address Social Security's solvency problem together.

"The Archer/Shaw proposal affirms Congress's commitment to Social Security reform, and the broad support Social Security enjoys among members of both political parties. Social Security has been an outstanding success - providing tens of millions of seniors with financial security, dignity, and independence for the past 64 years.

"Social Security will be equally important to tomorrow's retirees as well. However, Social Security has looming financial problems, which will arrive sooner than most think. According to Social Security's Trustees, in just 15 years, in 2014, Social Security benefit payments will exceed revenues. The issue is not saving Social Security for those now retired, or about to retire - make no mistake, the program will remain the same for them. The issue is ensuring that the program is solvent for younger workers when they retire.

"I strongly believe that we can pass Social Security legislation this year if we have Presidential leadership and a bipartisan consensus in Congress."