The Public Interest

How easy votes on social security came to an end

Martha Derthick

Winter 1979

WHEN Congressman Al Ullman, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, presented the Social Security Amendments of 1977 to the House of Representatives, he warned that there would be no more easy votes on the subject. What political calculus lay beneath Ullman’s elliptical remark? What political watershed did he believe the social security program to be crossing?

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