A top House Republican wants to raise the retirement age for social security benefits to save the program from a projected 2033 insolvency deadline.

Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Kevin Hern, R-Okla., released a budget last month that included conservative proposals to cut federal spending and extend the life of social security. If nothing is done, the critical program will face a roughly 20% cut in 2034.

One option Hern argued for is raising the full retirement benefits eligibility age from 67 to 69 – a politically fraught idea that mainstream leaders in both parties have been hesitant to touch.

“If you look at it, there’s only three options you can do to fix Social Security… one is you adjust the age, the second thing is you adjust what gets paid out of the program, and the third thing is… there’s more people working that pay into the program,” Hern said.

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On the subject of age specifically, Hern pointed out that the average life expectancy in the U.S. was in the early 60s when Social Security began. Today, the average life expectancy is in the late 70s.

“So you’re living [more] years on a program that was never designed to… be that way,” Hern said.

The RSC is a large bloc of conservative House Republicans, accounting for roughly 80% of the conference.

The White House seized on the group’s budget proposal as a political cudgel, accusing Republicans of wanting to gut Social Security.

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Social Security COLA Adjustment

“This is just another failed attempt by Joe Biden to push aside an issue that’s very important to retirees out there,” Hern told Fox News Digital of the backlash. “Our budget doesn’t touch anyone that’s in retirement, or near retirement.”

He added: “If I told you today, at your age, just as it affected me when I was 21 years old, you’re going to move my retirement age two years, I’d think – so what, it’s not going to be there anyway. All we can look at is the budget window up to 10 years. So our path forward is what’s going to make it solid for the next 10 years. Joe Biden has no plan.”

Biden’s own fiscal year 2025 budget proposal called for extending Social Security solvency by raising taxes on the highest-income earners. But Hern argued that the “best estimates are, that would extend it by one year.”

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Publicly, the president has largely shied away from discussing solutions for how to prevent Social Security from reaching insolvency. Former President Trump, Biden’s likely GOP challenger in the 2024 presidential election, also has been unclear about his stance on the program.

President Biden in Oval Office

Conversations around reforming retirement benefits are usually politically dangerous, particularly in an election year.

Hern insisted that any change would likely need to be bipartisan – and he said he’s been having discussions with Trump about what to do if he wins back the White House.

“The reality is, is President Trump’s no different than us,” Hern said. “We’ve talked about this, he and I and his team. We have no desire, no desire to cut back on any benefits [for anybody who is] in retirement or near retirement, but he understands, his team understands, that we have to make sure it’s solid.”

When asked for comment, Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt told Fox News Digital: “As President Trump has repeatedly stated, he does not support cuts to Social Security nor does he support raising the retirement age. President Trump delivered on his promise to protect Social Security and Medicare in his first term, and President Trump will continue to strongly protect Social Security and Medicare in his second term.”

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