Reps. Joaquin Castro (Tex.), the chairman of the Foreign Affairs subcommittee on oversight and investigations, and John B. Larson (Conn.), the chairman of the Ways and Means subcommittee on Social Security, sent a letter to a State Department official on Thursday asking for the “complete and unredacted” version of the plan, a list of the individuals who contributed to it and any other related documents.
The proposal, first reported by The Washington Post, calls for giving Americans $10,000 upfront in exchange for curbing their federal retirement benefits, such as Social Security.
The two lawmakers wrote that during this “moment of crisis,” the United States should be enhancing Social Security, “not developing policies to reduce benefits.”
“The idea that you would ask individual Americans to sell out their hard-earned retirement security as the price of desperately-needed help during a crisis is unacceptable,” they said. The letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, was sent to undersecretary Keith Krach.
A State Department spokeswoman said “we do not comment on congressional correspondence.”
The Eagle Plan is unusual in that it originated from the State Department, an agency responsible for creating and implementing foreign policy, not domestic policy.
A copy of the plan obtained by The Post says it was written by Paul Touw, chief strategy officer to Krach. Krach is close to Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a senior adviser. Kushner and Krach traveled together on the presidential delegation to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January.
Kushner received the memo and sent it to the White House Council of Economic Advisers for review, according to a person familiar with its handling.
Castro and Larson said the State Department had gone beyond its role in devising the plan. “This input into domestic policy is entirely outside the mandate of the State Department, and is a wholly inappropriate use of its resources,” they said.
Last week, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said President Trump would not support any plan that cuts into retirement benefits.
Jeff Stein and Josh Dawsey contributed to this report.