|By Jessica Wehrman, The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio|
Within 24 hours of the new
The squabble began after House Republicans quietly tucked into a 36-page list of House rules a new rule that would restrict the reallocation of money between the
Transferring money from one fund to another is not unheard of. In fact, it's been done 11 times, by both parties, most recently in 1994. But Republicans say that such transfers endanger the retirement fund, which is already strained. Democrats say making it more difficult to transfer the money would mean cuts in benefits as soon as next year to the 11 million Americans who receive
Among the first to react with outrage was Sen.
"Holding hostage the
The reallocations have gone in both directions — the retirement fund has benefited from the disability fund, and vice versa, according to the liberal
The center said that in 1993,
Reallocating the money would have only a minuscule effect on the retirement program's solvency, center officials said. Most disability-insurance recipients are 50 or older, so by keeping disability insurance solvent,
The retirement program, he said, "is a ticking time bomb because we are putting more money out in checks and benefits than we are collecting."
As proof, he points to the
Tiberi, who is a member of the
"What we're trying to do is protect the old-age and survivor insurance program that every senior counts on, and not exhaust that any earlier than it needs to be exhausted," he said. "We've got to fix the problem here and not try to scare people."
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