By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and
the laws of the United States of America, including the Federal Advisory
Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), and to preserve Social Security
for senior Americans while building wealth for younger Americans, it
is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Establishment. There is established the President's
Commission to Strengthen Social Security (Commission).
Sec. 2. Membership. The Commission shall be composed
of sixteen members appointed by the President, of which no more than
eight shall be members of the same political party. The President shall
also designate two members of the Commission to act as co-chairs. The
two co-chairs' shall not be members of the same political party.
Sec. 3. Mission. The mission of the Commission shall
be to submit to the President bipartisan recommendations to modernize
and restore fiscal soundness to the Social Security system according
to the following principles: (a) Modernization must not change Social
Security benefits for retirees or near-retirees;
(b) The entire Social Security surplus must be dedicated to Social
(c) Social Security payroll taxes must not be increased;
(d) Government must not invest Social Security funds in the stock market;
(e) Modernization must preserve Social Security's disability and survivors
(f) Modernization must include individually controlled, voluntary personal
retirement accounts, which will augment the Social Security safety net.
Sec. 4. Administration. (a) The Social Security Administration
shall, to the extent permitted by law, provide administrative support
and funding for the Commission.
(b) Members of the Commission shall serve without any compensation
for their work on the Commission. Members appointed from among private
citizens of the United States, however, while engaged in the work of
the Commission, may be allowed travel expenses, including per them in
lieu of subsistence, as authorized by law for persons serving intermittently
in Government service (5 U.S.C. 5701-5707), to the extent funds are
(c) The Commission shall have a staff headed by an Executive Director,
who shall be selected by the President. To the extent permitted by law,
office space, analytical support, and additional staff support for the
Commission shall be provided by executive branch departments and agencies
as directed by the President.
(d) The Commission shall receive input from and provide briefings to
the Congress, by procedures determined by the President in consultation
with the congressional leadership and the Commission. Public hearings
shall be held at the call of the co-chairs, in consultation with the
(e) The functions of the President under the Federal Advisory Committee
Act, as amended, except for those in section 6 of that Act, that are
applicable to the Commission, shall be performed by the Social Security
Administration, in accordance with the guidelines that have been issued
by the Administrator of General Services.
Sec. 5. Reports. The Commission shall submit reports
to the President as follows: (a) Interim Report. An interim report shall
describe the challenges facing the Social Security system and the criteria
by which the Commission will evaluate reform proposals. These criteria
may include but are not limited to: solvency, sustainability, benefit
adequacy, fair treatment across generations and demographic groups,
total annual cost obligations, net impact on the Federal budget, impact
upon national savings, impact on workforce participation, impact on
employer-provided pension plans, rates of return, and protections against
(b) Final Report. The final report will set forth the Commission's
recommendations, in accordance with its stated mission in section 3
of this order, regarding how to strengthen Social Security with personal
accounts. The Commission shall submit its final report during the fall
of 2001. The submission date shall be determined by the co-chairs in
consultation with the President.
Sec. 6. Termination. The Commission shall terminate 30
days after submitting its final report.
/s/George W. Bush
THE WHITE HOUSE,
May 2, 2001.