Legislative Alert | Social Security and Retirement

Letter Expressing Concerns About Nomination of Andrew Biggs to the Social Security Advisory Board

The Honorable Ron Wyden, Chairman
The Honorable Mike Crapo, Ranking Member
United States Senate
Senate Finance Committee
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Wyden and Senator Crapo:

The AFL-CIO has serious concerns about the pending nomination of Andrew Biggs, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, to the Social Security Advisory Board.

It should go without saying that Social Security Advisory Board nominees, regardless of political affiliation, should have a consistent record of commitment to this important anti-poverty program which provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits to 66 million Americans. Mr. Biggs’ record, however, does not appear to demonstrate such a commitment.

We urge the Committee to carefully review this nominee’s history because it is marked by attempts to undermine the program in various ways. In particular, does Mr. Biggs remain dismissive of our nation’s retirement income crisis? He once called it a non-issue. Does he still endorse cuts to Social Security’s modest, but essential, benefits? We find his past comments in support of raising the retirement age extremely troubling; does he stand by his past assertion that Americans’ “biggest on the job risk is...carpal tunnel syndrome from your mouse or something like that.”

The AFL-CIO is a long-time opponent of Social Security privatization, while Mr. Biggs has expressed views to the contrary. Does he stand by his past support for privatization and his prediction that privatization would make Americans not only richer, but also happier, healthier, more familiar, smarter, and more active citizens”? The Committee, and all stakeholders, deserve answers to these questions in order to adequately assess Mr. Bigg’s suitability for this position.

We look forward to a full and complete vetting of this nominee to ensure that he is an appropriate choice to join the Social Security Advisory Board.

Thank you for your consideration of our views.

William Samuel
Director, Government Affairs