For the first time this year, the Social Security fund will actually post a net deficit. The program is projected to collect $45 billion less in payroll taxes than it pays out in benefits, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
The program posted its first deficit last year for the first time since the 1980s. The CBO has estimated that the Social Security reserve will completely run out of funds by 2037.
With a government shutdown looming next week if Democrats and Republicans can't find common ground, Asture touted the White House's line, saying there would be dire consequences for new enrollees.
"For most existing benefits, checks will go out and they will not see an interruption of service," he said. "If you are a new applicant or have a change of address then we can't guarantee" timely processing.
He said most field offices would have to evaluate their hours and would be open on a partial basis.