Late last night Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and JoeAi??ManchinAi??(D-WV),Ai??together with Patty Murray (D-WA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Brian Schatz (D-HI),Ai??introduced an amendment on the Senate floor to expand Social Security benefits.Ai??As a result,Ai??each Senator who was present is now on-the-recordAi??as for or against expanding Social Security benefits.


“Elizabeth Warren has done it again — pushing a bold economic populist idea that is popular with voters, all while expanding it’s political appeal inside the Beltway. This is why she’s a bold progressive hero. Props to JoeAi??ManchinAi??for knowing that expanding Social Security benefits instead of cutting them is a no-brainer for seniors back home in West Virginia — even Republican ones.”

— Adam Green, Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder

The Warren-Manchin amendment:

  1. Supports ai???the sustainable expansion of benefits under the Social Security
  2. Supports ai???making permanently solventai??? the Social Security and Disability Trust Funds.
  3. Would require those changes to be fully paid, deficit-neutral.

Full text of amendment 1094Ai??here.Ai??

Political significance:

  • Third Way attacked Warren’s economic populism inAi??a WSJ op-edAi??in Dec 2013 andAi??admitted laterthat the attack was prompted byAi??herAi??floor speechAi??onAi??Nov. 13Ai??saying, “we should be talking about expanding Social Security benefits ai??i?? not cutting them.” PCCC and othersAi??defendedAi??Warren, got multiple Third Way co-chairs to drop their affiliation, and a PCCC protest at Third Way’s officesgot them to admitAi??the majority of their money comes from Wall Street firms that would love to privatize Social Security.
  • Tom Harkin, from the first presidential state of Iowa, was theAi??initial senatorAi??to propose expanding benefits. Sherrod Brown from the key presidential state of OhioAi??will be re-introducingAi??it this Congress.
  • In 2014, Brian Schatz defeated a corporate Democrat by campaigning on Social Security expansion while his opponent left the door open to cuts. Fiscal Times:Ai??Social Security Push Helps Schatz Take Hawaii Primary. Same with Rep. Mike Honda defeating corporate Democrat Ro Khanna. Political Blotter:Ai??CA17: Honda launches attack ad against Khanna.Ai??Quote: “Honda favors expanding Social Security benefits; Khanna said he wonai??i??t support that.” Same with Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman winning her NJ-12 primary by campaigning on this issue. (See herAi??paid mail here.)
  • Brown, Schatz, Hirono, Merkley, Warren were the only current senators on the record about expanding Social Security at all…yes or no. (They were all yes.) This gets the entire Senate on the record.
  • Polling shows this is wildly popular. See below — 70% to 15% in January Progressive Change Institute poll via GBA Strategies.
  • The vote on the amendment was 42 for, 56 against. All Democrats voted for except SenatorsAi??Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Tom Carper (D-DE). Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) were absent. All Republicans voted against the amendment.

National Poll Results, conducted by the Progressive Change Institute:


View detailed poll resultsAi??here.


  • Conducted January 9th ai??i?? 15th, 2015 by GBA Strategies on behalf of the Progressive Change Institute.
  • Interviewed 1,500 likely 2016 voters nationwide (MOE +/- 2.5%) with every policy question posed to a split sample of 750 voters (MOE +/- 3.6%) to compare messaging and policy variations. With an oversample, 308 drop-off Democrats, defined as Democrats or Obama voters who say they did not vote in 2014, were interviewed (MOE +/- 5.6% for full sample, +/- 7.9% for split sample).
  • More than 25% of interviews conducted via cell phone.
  • 583 (38.9%) of those interviewed identified themselves as Democrats, 382 (25.5%) as Independents, and 507 (33.8%) as Republicans.
  • Voters were asked to rate proposals on a scale of zero to ten where zero means they strongly oppose the idea and ten means strong support for the idea and a desire to see it become law. Zero to four represents opposition for a proposal. Five is neutral. Six to ten is supportive.



March 26, 2015
Matt Cournoyer (Warren),Ai??202-224-2292
Jonathan Kott (Manchin),Ai??Ai??202-228-1810
Eli Zupnick (Murray),Ai??202-224-2834


WASHINGTON, DC ai??i??Ai??This evening,Ai??United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), JoeAi??ManchinAi??(D- W.Va.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introduced a budget amendment to support a sustainable expansion of Social Security benefits and promote the long-term solvency of the Social Security and Disability Insurance trust funds. The amendment requires these changes to be fully paid-for.

ai???Our country faces a growing retirement crisis. Two-thirds of seniors rely on Social Security for most of their income in retirement, and for 15 million people, Social Security is what stands between them and poverty,ai???Ai??Senator Warren said.Ai??ai???We need to keep our promises to Americaai??i??s seniors, and that means strengthening and expanding Social

ai???It is time this Congress sets our priorities based on American values. In my eyes, the highest priority should be the seniors who belong to the greatest generation who helped build this nation into what it is today. We must make it clear that for those seniors, Social Security is a promise they can count on. This amendment begins the process of putting differences aside in order to keep our promises to our seniors by protecting Social Security beneficiaries while working to ensure the long-term solvency of this vital program. Senator Warren and I are committed to making sure the Social Security Trust Fund remain permanently solvent so that this great promise will be available for generations to come,”Ai??SenatorAi??ManchinAi??said.

ai???We owe it to seniors and workers across the country to make sure that Social Security is not just protected and strengthened, but also expanded to meet the retirement needs of the workforce in the 21st century economy,ai???Ai??said Senator Murray.Ai??ai???After a lifetime of work, seniors have earned the right to know that their Social Security benefits will be there for them when they retire, and will be there for their children and grandchildren

Text of the amendment is availableAi??here.


Contact TJ Helmstetter, director of media relations.