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Republicans Push to Raise Retirement Age Despite Trump Pledge

On the campaign trail in January, former President Donald Trump opposed raising the retirement age and pledged not to cut Social Security benefits. “We don’t have to do that for seniors,” he told supporters. “You earned it.”

Trump’s 2024 campaign also ran TV ads criticizing his primary opponent, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, for wanting to change the retirement age, saying she would end the promise of “a secured retirement.”

Trump has waffled on his pledge in recent weeks — and now, Republican lawmakers are publicly pushing to raise the Social Security retirement age and slash benefits. The Republican Study Committee, the largest GOP caucus in the House, issued a 2025 budget proposal Wednesday calling for cuts to Social Security among other entitlement benefits. The proposal states it would “make modest adjustments to the retirement age for future retirees to account for increases in life expectancy.”

The suggested cuts would be in service of reducing the federal government’s entitlement budget, which analysts project runs the risk of insolvency in the coming years. The proposal projects reducing Social Security spending by more than $1.5 trillion dollars over the next 10 years.

Trump, the presumptive nominee, lit into Haley for expressing similar sentiments during her primary campaign.

However, he recently floated the idea of reducing Social Security and Medicare benefits.

“There is a lot you can do in terms of entitlements, in terms of cutting, and in terms of also the theft and the bad management of entitlements,” Trump said during a CNBC appearance last week.

The backlash to the comments caused Trump to walk back the comments, saying he “will never do anything that will jeopardize or hurt Social Security or Medicare” in a subsequent interview with Breitbart

Republican rollbacks to entitlement programs are nothing new, and discussion of raising the age of Social Security to cut costs has been going on for decades. The recent push by the GOP was even addressed by President Joe Biden during his latest State of the Union address, where he said: “If anyone here tries to cut Social Security, Medicare or raise the retirement age, I will stop you.”

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