"Raising the retirement age would inflict further hardship among a group of workers who are likely to face health and economic problems in their 60s." –Doug Hart, President, Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans
"Of all the lies and confusion that still surround the Affordable Care Act, perhaps the greatest is that it is bad for seniors." - Dave Meinell, President, Missouri Alliance for Retired Americans
"My father died when I was three. Because of Social Security (survivors) benefits, my Mom, my younger sister and I survived." – Diane Fleming, DC Alliance Member
"We fear that Congress will balance the budget on the backs of the 98 percent, which is working Montanans and retired Montanans. We simply cannot afford these devastating cuts to vital services such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," –John Forkan, President, Montana Alliance for Retired Americans
"Along with national parks and Social Security, Medicare is one of the best ideas we Americans have ever devised." -Tim Cunningham, New Mexico Alliance Member
"Seniors have earned and deserve their Social Security checks, and they shouldn't have to go to Congress every 10 years and beg for the program to be renewed." –James Parent, Alliance for Retired Americans Regional Board Member
"Today's retirees paid Medicare and Social Security taxes in every paycheck we ever earned. Now that we are retired, these programs help us to be able to stay healthy and pay our bills. They are the promise we make to people who worked hard all their lives, and we need to keep that promise for today’s workers." –Tony Fransetta, former President, Florida Alliance for Retired Americans
"Today's seniors want to lower the budget deficit. We do not want a large debt to be the legacy we leave to future generations, but we should not punish people who have paid Social Security taxes all their lives." –Jim Moore, former President, North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans
"Social Security should remain what it has been for 77 years – a solid, reliable way that generations of workers have been able to retire with dignity, economic security, and peace of mind." –Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
"The fight for Social Security and Medicare is part of a larger fight for justice and fairness"—Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
"The health insurance reform helps not just seniors, but also middle-class families and young Americans, who are just starting to see the benefits. Don’t let Republicans take all that away." –Don Rowen, President Emeritus, Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans
"Honoring the promise of Social Security and Medicare should not be a partisan issue. Honoring the contributions that we make throughout our working years so that we may feed and clothe ourselves, keep a roof over our heads and those of our family, there is no reason for that to be a hotly contested partisan issue." –Edward Coyle, former Executive Director, Alliance for Retired Americans
"We need to make sure that people who need Social Security to make ends meet will have it, and not fall victim to ill-informed and unnecessary cuts to these vital programs."
–Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
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Retiree Voting Record Released for 2nd Session of 112th Congress
May 20, 2013
“The Most Unproductive Congress in Modern American History”
Washington, DC – To begin the third week of May, which is Older Americans Month, the Alliance for Retired Americans today released a new report detailing the voting record of every U.S. Senator and Representative on key issues affecting current and future retirees. The document is available at http://www.retiredamericans.org/issues/congressional-voting-record.
The Alliance voting record examined 10 key Senate votes and 10 key House votes in 2012, showing the roll calls on issues such as: whether to privatize Medicare and create a voucher-like system in its place; whether to turn Medicaid into a block grant system; and whether to undo key Affordable Care Act provisions that benefit seniors.
“This past year we saw the most unproductive Congress in modern American history finally come to an end, passing fewer than 250 bills in two years,” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance. “The House even refused to vote on needed relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy. Yet, it voted repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act, even after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on its constitutionality.”
“In contrast, while attacks on core retiree programs continued, many in Congress voted to preserve a tax system that favors the wealthiest Americans,” continued Ms. Easterling. “For more than a decade, the wealthiest Americans have received trillions in tax breaks while older Americans have seen rising drug, health care, food, and energy costs.”
According to the Alliance, 155 U.S. House members achieved perfect scores of 100 percent in 2012. One hundred fifty-four received scores of zero. One of those zeroes belonged to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), whose budget has been used as a blueprint for House Republican leaders.
In the Senate, 115 filibuster threats grounded work to a near standstill on dozens of issues. Eighteen members of the U.S. Senate achieved perfect scores of 100 percent in 2012, while another 19 received zeroes.
“This Voting Record reflects how committed our elected representatives are to retirees and older Americans,” Ms. Easterling said. “It is intended to educate, thereby helping to create an America that protects the health and economic security of seniors, strengthens families and builds safe and thriving communities. Higher scores on the 2012 Voting Record reflect a commitment to protect seniors and ask the wealthiest American people and corporations to pay their fair share.”