Aug 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Schumer: Social Security recipients "better watch out" if Trump is re-elected

President Trump's promise to make permanent cuts to payroll taxes if re-elected will deplete the Social Security and Medicare trust funds they finance, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday on ABC's "This Week".

Driving the news: President Trump Saturday signed an executive order deferring payroll taxes for Americans earning less than $100,000 a year, and floated eliminating the tax altogether for those Americans if he is re-elected. It's unclear if Trump has the authority to suspend payroll taxes by executive action.

What they're saying: "The president said if elected, I will forgive all this. That depletes money out of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. If you're a Social Security recipient or Medicare recipient, you better watch out if President Trump is re-elected," Schumer said.

The other side: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin claimed on "Fox News Sunday" that Trump "in no way wants to harm those trust funds," and that they'd simply be reimbursed from the Treasury Department's General Fund.

The big picture: Schumer declined to say whether the executive orders that Trump signed are illegal, but criticized them as "unworkable, weak and far too narrow." He called on Republicans to return to the negotiating table.

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