FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 28, 2011
Contact: Don Owens,
Senate Majority Leader Reid, Other Democrats, Join Hundreds to Demand No Cuts to Social Security
Sens. Reid, Harkin, Sanders, Franken and Blumenthal Follow Emotional Speeches by Americans Who Depend on Social Security and Oppose Cuts
(Washington, DC) – The Strengthen Social Security Campaign joined together with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senators Tom Harkin, (D-IA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Al Franken (D-MN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today on Capitol Hill to demand a halt to Republican attacks on Social Security and the citizens who receive it.
Under the slogans “Back Off Social Security” and “Hands Off Social Security,” more than 350 fired-up retirees and others packed a meeting room on Capitol Hill to hear from the Senators and program beneficiaries, and to demand no benefit cuts, no retirement age increase, and no privatization. The large public event happened as the battle heats up in Washington between those wanting to sacrifice Social Security as part of a deficit-reduction deal and those demanding that it not be cut.
“It is just plain wrong to serve up Social Security on the altar of deficit reduction. Social Security has not contributed a penny to the federal deficit,” said Eric Kingson, Co-Chair of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, which was the lead sponsor of today’s rally. “Today’s event sends a clear message that Americans of all walks of life believe Social Security must keep its promise to current and future generations without any benefit cuts, privatization, or raising of the retirement age.”
In recent weeks Republicans have stepped up their legislative attacks to reduce benefits and services for Social Security recipients. H.R. 1, the failed 2011 budget proposal that was passed by Republicans in the House but rejected in the U.S. Senate, would have reduced funding for the Social Security Administration by $1.7 billion below what the agency needs to maintain basic service to the public in 2011. It would have resulted in furloughs of up to 20 working days, closed offices, unanswered phone calls, and significant delays in processing new claims.
“Social Security is America’s most successful and popular program,” said Kingson. ”It's good to see elected officials like Majority Leader Reid stand up for America’s families by standing up for Social Security.”
The Strengthen Social Security Campaign is comprised of nearly 300 national and state organizations representing more than 50 million Americans from many of the nation’s leading aging, labor, disability, women’s, children, consumer, civil rights and equality organizations.