Social Security Legislative History

This section covers major legislative changes made in the 112th Congress through the first session of the 113th Congress.  For a description of legislative changes made in the 95th through 102nd Congresses, please refer to the 1996 Green Book.  For legislative changes made in the 103rd Congress, please refer to the 1998 Green Book.  For legislative changes made in the 104th through 111th Congresses, please refer to the 2012 Green Book.

112th CONGRESS

Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 (Public Law 112-78)

Among other provisions, the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 extended for two months (i.e., through February 2012) the temporary 2 percentage point reduction in the Social Security payroll tax for employees and the self-employed in effect for calendar year 2011 under Public Law 111-312.  The reduced payroll tax rate was applied to the first $18,350 of covered wages (an amount equal to two-twelfths of the 2012 taxable wage base of $110,100). The employer’s share of the payroll tax was not affected. The law provided general revenue transfers to the Social Security trust funds in amounts needed to protect the trust funds from a loss of payroll tax revenues due to the temporary reduction.

Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-96)

Among other provisions, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 further extended the temporary 2 percentage point reduction in the Social Security payroll tax for workers (described above) through the end of calendar year 2012. The law provided general revenue transfers to the Social Security trust funds to make up for the foregone payroll tax revenues.

For more information on the legislative history of the Social Security program, see the Social Security Administration website at https://www.ssa.gov/history/law.html.

This page was prepared on August 29, 2014, for the 2014 version of the House Ways and Means Committee Green Book.