May 26, 2015

Retiree Voting Record Released

Washington, DC – The Alliance for Retired Americans today released its 2014 voting record report which scored every U.S. Representative and Senator on key issues affecting current and future retirees. The voting record examined 10 key Senate votes and 10 key House votes in 2014, showing the roll calls on issues such as:

  • privatizing Medicare and creating a voucher-like system in its place;
  • turning Medicaid into a block grant system, which would undercut its ability to provide care for millions of older Americans;
  • raising the minimum wage; and
  • increasing the debt ceiling and keeping the government open.

“2014 saw the conclusion of the 113th Congress, which was the least productive Congress with the exception of the one that had just preceded it,” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance. “Congress again went to the brink of closing the government, apparently not learning the lesson of 2013 when the shutdown cost taxpayers $24 billion. The nation deserves better.

Ms. Easterling continued, “In addition to the dysfunction, many in Congress continued to attack our core retiree programs of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as well as the pro-retiree provisions of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The month of May, which is Older Americans Month, is an opportune time to bring attention to these issues with the release of this report.”

“Raising the minimum wage is part of our voting record because it would address income inequality, help many seniors who earn the minimum wage and improve Social Security’s overall finances.”

135 U.S. House members achieved perfect scores of 100 percent in 2014, while 122 received scores of zero. The House Majority Whip and key U.S. House committee chairs scored 0% on legislation that was important to seniors in 2014. They include Majority Whip Steve Scalise (LA); Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (GA); and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (WI).

Forty-nine members of the U.S. Senate achieved perfect scores of 100 percent in 2014, while another 34 received zeroes. Of those members of the Senate who have declared their candidacy for President, or who are reported to be considering a run, Ted Cruz (R-TX), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rob Portman (R-OH), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Rand Paul (R-KY) scored zero while Bernie Sanders (I-VT) scored 100%.

“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 2014 Voting Record reflect a record of actions to protect and support our core retiree programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, rather than attack them.”

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