June 07, 2015
Alliance for Retired Americans Releases Congressional Scorecard for 2014
07A Majority of Pennsylvania Senators and Congressmen receive failing scores on key votes important to the interests of Seniors last year
Harrisburg, PA – The Alliance for Retired Americans released its Congressional Voting Record for 2014, scoring all U.S. Senate and House members on key issues affecting current and future retirees. The report outlines ten votes in the Senate and ten in the House, providing scores for each Senator and Representative according to how their vote affected retired Americans. Some issues examined include: health care, our Social Security system, senior housing cuts, and minimum wage.
One issue regarded raising the debt ceiling through March of 2015. Raising the debt ceiling eliminated the chance of a government default, therefore ensuring the continued issuance of Social Security and Medicare payments. The bill passed, but only eight Pennsylvania Representatives voted for it with ten voting against.
An issue that saw general consensus across the board from Pennsylvania’s Representatives was senior housing cuts. The majority voted against cuts which were offered as an amendment to the Transportation HUD funding bill that cut funding for Section 8 housing assistance by $2.9 billion. Such cuts in the past have forced seniors into inadequate and substandard housing. Thirteen of Pennsylvania’s eighteen Representatives voted against the amendment with only two voting in favor.
Senator Casey (D) and five of the eighteen Pennsylvania Representatives received an overall score of 100% for 2014 with Senator Toomey (R) and two Representatives receiving a zero. Senior Representatives Fattah (D) and Doyle (D), who have been representing Pennsylvania for twenty years, both held on to their perfect lifetime scores through 2014. Newcomer Matt Cartwright (D) also received a score of 100% for 2014 which led to an overall perfect score for his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has been re-elected for a second term. Despite these bright spots, a full 14 out of 20 of Pennsylvania’s Federal legislators received failing grades in 2014 of 20% or below.
“Alliance members are very disappointed with the performance of Pennsylvania’s Representatives in 2014,” said Wayne Burton, President of the Pennsylvania Alliance. “We are hoping to see better scores in the upcoming year. The next generation of retirees will face greater challenges maintaining a high quality of life in retirement, so you can be assured that they, along with our senior voters, will be informed about the 2014 and upcoming 2015 scores before the next election.”
The Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans, led by President Wayne Burton of Chester County, has over 300,000 members and 150 local affiliates across the Commonwealth. PARA’s mission is to educate seniors and the public about retiree issues, and organize seniors to advocate for their interests in Harrisburg and Washington. To learn more, visit www.pennretiredamericans.org.