Sanders promises to defend Social Security as GOP retakes Congress

The senator representing Democrats on the Budget Committee is vowing to fight efforts by Republicans to prevent money dedicated to paying retirement benefits from being shifted to the disabled.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a liberal independent from Vermont, says that a recent move by House Republicans could lead to a 20 percent cut in Social Security disability benefits for 11 million people.

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The disability program is on track to go into the red next year unless Washington steps in to shore it up.

Republicans say shifting retirement benefits to the disabled amounts to a "raid" on the much larger pension program. They say lawmakers need to step in and fix the disability shortfall rather than shift money around.