May Update from SOAR Director Julie Stein

Just do the Right Thing, Already!!!

In this Connection newsletter, I wanted to share my thoughts about the Alliance for Retired Americans’ (ARA) annual congressional voting record that was released in May, which is recognized as Older Americans Month. 

The ARA has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the labor movement to assure all Americans the right to a secure and dignified retirement.  

Their report assesses votes taken between January 2018 and December 2018 that could impact the well-being of current and future retirees.  (Any actions that have been taken by the newly-elected Congress in November 2018 will appear on the report that will be released by the ARA next year.)   

The ARA report shows what many Americans knew already:  that a vast majority of Congress was not looking out for the best interests of retirees.  This explains why Americans voted to oust the largest number of incumbents since the Watergate scandal in 1974.  In fact: 

  • Only 42% of Senators voted right on 100% of ARA-scored bills, compared to just 28% of U.S. House members; and,
  • Only 49% of Senators and 41% of U.S. House members voted right on 2/3 of the ARA-scored bills in 2018.

All 41 of the U.S. House seats that flipped from Republican to Democratic control in the 2017 election were represented by a legislator who voted wrong on at least 50% of the bills scored by the ARA.  In fact, 12 of the 17 members who voted wrong 100% of the time were either defeated or retired in 2018.  Meanwhile, 99% of the members who voted right on all of the ARA-scored bills won reelection.      

So, if there are any members of Congress reading this who are concerned about reelection in 2020, I have one bit of advice that could go a long way!  Doing right by retirees will help your chances more than you can imagine!  Cheers!

To see the full report, click here: 2018 Congressional Voting Record.

Click here to read a statement from the ARA on the release of their report.

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