THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (New Delhi, India) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release March 21, 2000
TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT TO THE MAJORITY AND DEMOCRATIC LEADERS OF THE SENATE
March 21, 2000
Dear Mr. Leader:
I am pleased that the Senate is moving forward with consideration of H.R. 5, a bill that would eliminate the retirement earnings test above the normal retirement age. On March 1, 2000, with strong Administration support, the House passed H.R. 5 by a vote of 422-0. I now urge the Senate to follow suit and quickly pass H.R. 5. This will ensure enactment of a clean, straightforward bill to eliminate the retire-ment earnings test above the normal retirement age, which I will promptly sign into law.
I called for the elimination of the earnings test for seniors in my State of the Union address in 1999. I believe that the test is confusing and outdated. As the baby boomers begin to retire, it is more important than ever that older Americans who are willing and able to work should not have their Social Security benefits deferred when they do.
Our work together on eliminating the retirement earnings test can help establish bipartisan momentum toward Social Security reform. We should build on this foundation to pass legislation that would extend the solvency of Social Security to about 2050 while taking signifi-cant actions to reduce poverty among elderly women. Last year, I transmitted legislation to Congress that would have used the interest savings earned by paying down the debt to make Social Security stronger. If we agree to this simple step, we can extend the life of Social Security to the middle of the next century while also modernizing Social Security to reduce poverty among elderly women.
These simple measures would be a substantial down payment on meeting the long-term Social Security challenge. I hope we can continue to work together on this issue.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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