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.”

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Contact: David Blank (202) 637-5275 / dblank@retiredamericans.org

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