House Plans to Push GROW Accounts Bill

July 27, 2005 ( - Republican co-sponsors of the Growing Real Ownership for Workers Act of 2005 (GROW) say they will push the bill to the Senate when it returns from its recess in August, according to a BNA report.

House bill  H.R. 3304 would create individual investment accounts from Social Security’s annual surpluses.   It is expected that, in 2017, Social Security annual surpluses will stop and the system will begin taking in less revenue than it is obligated to pay in benefits. BNA reports that critics of the bill say that the accounts would be small and that the seed money for the accounts would dry up by 2017. Those in support of the bill say that future Congresses would be able to increase the size of the accounts as acceptance of them grows.

Sponsors of the bill praised the Democrat’s retirement security initiatives recently introduced, but criticized them for not including provisions for Social Security.   House Democrats say the Republicans are just looking for something to save their social security privatization proposal.   According to BNA, Representative Sander Levin (D-Michigan) said the GROW accounts act would do nothing to stop the spending of Social Security surpluses on other unrelated government programs and would increase public debt.

House members say they expect the GROW Accounts Act to be marked up as part of a broader retirement bill the House Ways and Means Committee is planning on for September, BNA reports.   Levin said the GROW Accounts Act would face “unanimous opposition of the Democrats.”