Headline RoundupSeptember 23rd, 2023

How The Looming Government Shutdown Would Affect Social Security

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The currently looming government shutdown has drawn attention to how social benefit systems, particularly Social Security, may be affected if an agreement is not reached by October 1.

The Details: While Social Security payments would remain unaffected and benefits would continue to be paid without interruption, much of the Social Security staff, 15% according to one expert, would be furloughed. As a result, customer service operations may be affected.

For Context: To avoid a shutdown, House lawmakers must agree on a spending bill by the end of the month. Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is receiving pushback from a hard-right group of Republicans, who on Thursday joined with Democrats in a test vote that saw the agreement voted down, 212-216.

Key Quotes: Kathleen Romig, director of Social Security and disability policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said state disability determination services could be affected because The Social Security Administration “urges states to continue their work during a shutdown, but the decision lies with state governments and in the past some have closed.”

How The Media Covered It: The story was widely covered by left and Center-rated outlets. CBS News (Lean Left bias) said “The clock is ticking for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy,” to find a compromise, while The Hill (Center bias) generalized, calling it the duty of “lawmakers.”

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