The Social Security Administration warned Friday that "drastic funding cuts" proposed by the House would dramatically impact service to seniors and other beneficiaries and "needlessly" waste taxpayer dollars.

In response to an inquiry from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue outlined in a letter to Baucus how the House Budget would force the Social Security Administration to scale back operating hours at field offices across the country. The result, Astrue said, would be "long delays and deteriorations in service" to seniors and other Social Security beneficiaries.

"It is critically important that we work to preserve Social Security and protect its beneficiaries and save taxpayer dollars," Baucus said in a statement the same day. "The House's radical plan does nothing more than threaten America's seniors by undermining this critical safety net and severely cuts programs that help the federal budget."

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Melanie Waddell

Melanie is senior editor and Washington bureau chief of ThinkAdvisor. Her ThinkAdvisor coverage zeros in on how politics, policy, legislation and regulations affect the investment advisory space. Melanie’s coverage has been cited in various lawmakers’ reports, letters and bills, and in the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule in 2024. In 2019, Melanie received an Honorable Mention, Range of Work by a Single Author award from @Folio. Melanie joined Investment Advisor magazine as New York bureau chief in 2000. She has been a columnist since 2002. She started her career in Washington in 1994, covering financial issues at American Banker. Since 1997, Melanie has been covering investment-related issues, holding senior editorial positions at American Banker publications in both Washington and New York. Briefly, she was content chief for Internet Capital Group’s EFinancialWorld in New York and wrote freelance articles for Institutional Investor. Melanie holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Towson University. She interned at The Baltimore Sun and its suburban edition.