President Eisenhower, a Republican, signed a bill *expanding* Social Security.

And yet, on the very first day that the new larger House Republican majority got to work, it made a move that could mean some 11 million people who receive Social Security disability benefits will see their lifeline benefits cut by 20% in 2016—or even cuts to Social Security retirement benefits for everyone.

No, Republicans didn’t pass a bill or hold a lengthy debate on something so important. Instead, buried in a package of rule changes, they included a provision that the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) says:

“Would allow a 20% benefit cut for millions of disabled Americans unless there are broader Social Security benefit cuts or tax increases improving the solvency of the combined trust funds.”

Republicans didn’t call it a Social Security cut. They just said they were changing the rules on what is known as reallocation, i.e., the routine transfer of funds between the Social Security retirement trust fund and the disability program.

Congress has approved those transfers 11 times in the past, but now, under the changes Republicans approved Tuesday, any reallocation must also “improve the overall financial health of the combined Social Security Trust Funds.” That, say experts, means either new revenue or benefit cuts.