Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, stops to speak to reporters as he arrives for the Senate Republicans weekly lunch on Tuesday, June, 9, 2020.
While Washington lawmakers negotiate over how much money to inject into a U.S. economy battered by Covid-19, one group of politicians hopes to also start fixing ailing funds for Social Security, Medicare and the nation’s highways.
This week, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and 14 co-sponsors introduced a bill for inclusion in the next relief package. It’s an updated version of legislation Romney introduced last year.
The bill is called the Time to Rescue United States’ Trusts Act, or TRUST Act, of 2020. The proposal would create bipartisan committees to come up with plans to fix the solvency of the various trust funds that support the programs.
How the TRUST Act would work
The TRUST Act calls for the Treasury Department to deliver a report to Congress on the state of the endangered federal trust funds at the beginning of January 2021.
From there, so-called “Rescue Committees” would be formed for each trust fund. Each group would include at least two members from each party. Their task would be to come up with legislation with the goal of creating a plan to bring the funds back to solvency and identify other improvements that should be made.
Bills that are created by the committees would get immediate consideration from the House and Senate. At least 60 votes would be needed before they could clear the Senate.
Who supports the bill
The TRUST Act has support on both sides of the aisle.
Senators supporting the bill include Joe Manchin, D-W Va.; Todd Young, R-Ind.; Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.; Shelley Moore Capito, R-W Va.; Doug Jones, D-Ala.; Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; Angus King, I-Maine; Rob Portman, R-Ohio; Mark Warner, D-Va.; David Perdue, R-Ga.; John Cornyn, R-Texas; Martha McSally, R-Ariz; Mike Rounds, R-S.D.; and Dan Sullivan, R-Ark.
Similar legislation has been proposed in the House by Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis.; Ed Case, D-Hawaii; William Timmons, R-S.C.; Ben McAdams, D-Utah; and Scott Peters, D-Calif.
A letter was also sent by a bipartisan group of 60 Congressional representatives advocating for the legislation to be included in the next round of legislation.