The Administration supports the goal of H.R. 3546, to convene a national
dialogue on Social Security and develop reforms for ensuring the long-range
solvency of the Social Security program. The Administration is strongly
committed to working in a bipartisan manner with members of Congress to
pursue our common goal of assuring that Social Security is strengthened for
the 21st century while remaining the bedrock of protection for American
workers and their families.
On January 27th, the President put forward a flexible and inclusive plan
for achieving Social Security reform and invited every American to
participate in the process. The plan calls for a year of national
discussion, including nonpartisan forums in every region of the country
followed by a White House Conference on Social Security. This is an
inclusive process that allows for a variety of ideas and proposals from
both Republicans and Democrats as to how best to further this national
discussion. Once this process has been completed, the Administration hopes
to begin bipartisan negotiations with the Congress. This open and
inclusive process, without legislating a commission, is the most flexible
way of building the required public understanding for achieving Social
Security reform. The Administration believes that a commission and
therefore H.R. 3546 is unnecessary.
If Congress passes H.R. 3546, the bill should require the panel to finish
its work before the White House Conference on Social Security convenes so
that bipartisan negotiations can begin in January 1999.