October 25, 2023

Statement by Retiree Leader Richard Fiesta on House Speaker Mike Johnson’s Plan for a Debt Commission

The following statement was issued by Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, regarding Speaker Mike Johnson’s record of voting against older Americans’ best interests and his announcement that he plans to create a bipartisan “debt commission.”

“House Speaker Mike Johnson isn’t a household name yet, but he’s made it clear that he has no intention of protecting seniors. He has taken dozens of votes that put the needs of drug corporations, Wall Street, and the wealthiest Americans ahead of older Americans.

“It’s outrageous that Johnson announced plans to create a so-called ‘debt commission’ during his first speech as Speaker of the House. The commission, which would meet behind closed doors, is supposed to come up with schemes to cut the Social Security and Medicare benefits Americans worked a lifetime to earn.

“This is undemocratic, dangerous, and cowardly. If Speaker Johnson and his buddies want to come after Social Security, they should at least have the guts to do it in public.

“These remarks should surprise no one. Johnson earned a 0% pro-retiree score in the Alliance for Retired Americans’ Congressional Voting Record last year, and his lifetime score is a pathetic 5%.

“Speaker Johnson earned those scores by voting AGAINST allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, FOR raising the retirement age, FOR privatizing Social Security and Medicare, and even AGAINST funding for Meals on Wheels.

“Speaker Johnson is already off to a horrific start. Seniors deserve better.”


Contact: David Blank, dblank@retiredamericans.org

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