Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley is set to assume the leadership of the Social Security Administration amidst concerns over the depletion of trust fund assets and the absence of concrete legislation to address the issue.
The White House announced on Wednesday that President Biden intends to nominate O’Malley, a seasoned Democrat who served as governor of Maryland from 2007 to 2015.
President Biden expressed confidence in O’Malley’s ability to safeguard Social Security, stating, “Since Day 1, I have fought to strengthen and defend Social Security, which tens of millions of Americans have paid into and depend on to support their livelihoods. I know that Governor O’Malley will continue to be a strong partner who works tirelessly to protect Social Security for generations to come.”
However, before officially assuming the role, O’Malley must await confirmation from the Senate. In the meantime, the agency has been under the temporary guidance of acting commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi, who took over after President Biden dismissed Commissioner Andrew Saul, appointed by former President Trump in 2021. Last fall, a group of 16 senators underscored the importance of appointing a permanent commissioner in a letter to President Biden.
In an effort to ensure accountable leadership and cement their commitment to supporting vulnerable populations, several senators, including Bernie Sanders, Chris Van Hollen, Elizabeth Warren, and Kirsten Gillibrand, have written a letter emphasizing the need for a permanent Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner for the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Secure Future for Social Security
As the annual report by the Social Security trustees suggests, the trust funds that support the system are anticipated to deplete by 2035. This alarming projection implies that beneficiaries may only receive 80% of their entitled benefits. Retirees, individuals with disabilities, and their families depend heavily on these program benefits.
Praise for the Nomination
The nomination of a new Commissioner has garnered approval from social security-focused organizations. Richard Fiesta, the executive director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, states, “The SSA requires a strong commissioner now more than ever. With 10,000 Americans reaching the age of 65 each day, the workload continues to grow exponentially. Unfortunately, the current budget is insufficient to cater to the needs of seniors, disabled individuals, and all American families.”
The appointment of a permanent Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner holds utmost significance in providing steadfast leadership and affirming the SSA’s commitment to its beneficiaries. It is imperative that measures are taken promptly to address the impending challenges faced by the Social Security Administration.
# American Workers Demand Fully Funded Social Security Administration
In a recent statement, Max Richtman, President and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, emphasized the importance of funding the Social Security Administration (SSA). He highlighted the fact that American workers’ payroll taxes are the primary source of funding for this agency. As such, they have every right to expect the SSA to be fully funded and efficiently administered to ensure the delivery of their benefits.
Richtman called for the timely confirmation of Governor O’Malley as the permanent commissioner of the SSA when the Senate reconvenes after its August recess. This appointment would play a crucial role in ensuring the effective management and continued success of the agency.
It is imperative that the Senate prioritizes this confirmation process and acknowledges the fundamental impact it will have on millions of Americans who rely on the SSA for their financial security. By providing the necessary financial support and leadership, we can uphold our commitment to hardworking individuals who have contributed to the system.
Let us join forces in demanding a fully funded Social Security Administration with a permanent commissioner at its helm. Together, we can secure a brighter future for all American workers.