Reps. Steve Southerland (R-FL) and Trey Gowdy (R-SC) have introduced legislation that would put seniors, veterans, and active duty military first in line for receiving payments in the event that an agreement on the debt ceiling is not reached before the August 2 deadline.
Dubbed the Ensuring America’s Promises Act of 2011, the proposed legislation would require that the federal government continue to pay Social Security, Medicare, veterans benefits, salaries of active duty military members, and interest on the federal debt ahead of other federal spending obligations.
“Debt negotiations have been plagued for weeks by scare tactics and falsehoods about what would happen if the debt limit isn’t raised by August 2nd,” Southerland said. “The fact is the President has the obligation to prioritize spending, and his shameful threat to withhold federal benefits promised to our seniors, veterans and active duty troops would be his decision and his alone. For this reason, I introduced legislation that puts our seniors and our military heroes first, ensuring their benefits are paid in full regardless of Washington’s political tug-of-war. The federal government made a promise to our seniors and our troops, and I am committed to doing all I can to keep it.”
The legislation has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means for further consideration.