Legislative Update: December 2014

Legislative Update: December 2014

TSCL Delivers Hundreds Of Thousands Of Petitions

By Jessie Gibbons, Legislative Assistant

The second session of the 113th Congress is nearing its end, and The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) is pleased to report that 2014 has been a year to remember. Over the past few months, TSCL has hand-delivered hundreds of thousands of petitions to Members of Congress, urging them to support critical legislation like the CPI-E Act, the Notch Fairness Act, and the Strengthening Social Security Act. In the weeks leading up to the November elections, we sent out thousands of emails to members and supporters in an effort to help them get to know TSCL's long-time friends in Congress.

For example, those living in North Carolina's 3rd congressional district received emails introducing them to Congressman Walter Jones, sponsor of the Social Security Guarantee Act, and consistent supporter of important bills like the Notch Fairness Act and the Social Security Fairness Act. Those living in Oregon's 4th district received emails introducing Congressman Peter DeFazio, sponsor of three critical bills: the CPI-E Act, the Social Security Protection and Truth in Budgeting Act, and the No Loopholes in Social Security Taxes Act. These and other campaign efforts proved to be successful, as many critical lawmakers won their re-election bids and will continue to advocate for seniors in the next session of Congress.

With the November 4th elections now behind us, TSCL is gearing up for another action-packed year. This coming spring, the temporary "doc fix" will expire and Members of Congress will need to stave off another severe pay cut for doctors who treat Medicare patients. Failing to do so could jeopardize access to medical care for millions of senior citizens. TSCL will be advocating for a long-term solution that would repeal the sustainable growth rate formula, once and for all, and establish a permanent path forward.

Additionally, in less than two years, the Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund will become insolvent, and approximately 11 million beneficiaries will be faced with a 20 percent cut in monthly benefits. Many lawmakers are hoping to divert funds from the retirement trust fund in order to address the funding shortfall, but according to our recent survey results, less than 1 percent of seniors support this method. Instead, TSCL will be advocating for policy solutions that would tighten the eligibility requirements for the Disability Insurance program and ramp up efforts to fight fraud, waste, and abuse.

Other priorities in 2015 will include advocating for a more fair and accurate Social Security cost-of-living adjustment, monitoring the continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and protecting Medicare Advantage enrollees from harsh and unforeseen benefit cuts.

 

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