JANUARY 28, 2011 WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a continued effort to bring news and relevant information about our federal government back to his home district in Los Angeles, Representative Xavier Becerra (CA-31), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and Ranking Member of the Social Security Subcommittee, brings you “The Becerra Bulletin,” an e-newsletter filled with facts and information meant to stimulate thought and discussion about American economic policy and a host of other issues.
BY THE NUMBERS
SOCIAL SECURITY DIDN’T GET US INTO THIS MESS—AND PRIVATIZING IT WON’T GET US OUT The new Republican majority in the House selected Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (WI-1) to deliver their official response to President Obama’s State of the Union address on January 25 and gave him unprecedented power to set the federal budget for the next year. Chairman Ryan has proposed a plan to cut the federal budget deficit called ‘A Roadmap for America’s Future’. This ‘Roadmap’:
Cuts guaranteed Social Security benefits for everyone who earns more than $22,000 during their working years.
Raises the retirement age to 69, which is a lifetime benefit cut for all beneficiaries, not just those who retire early.
Takes away $4.9 trillion from the Social Security trust fund and cuts guaranteed benefits in order to create private accounts.
Adds $1.2 trillion to our national debt to create private accounts.
“After maxing-out America’s credit card on tax giveaways to the rich and wars that were never paid for, the new Republican majority is trying to stick America’s retirees, widows, dependent children and disabled workers with the bill. Social Security—with $2.6 trillion in reserves—didn’t get us into this mess. And privatizing Social Security won’t get us out. Let’s focus on wasteful spending, not ripping off the most effective program in our nation’s history,” Rep. Becerra said in response to Chairman Ryan’s speech.
SHORT TAKES – WASHINGTON, D.C.
REP. BECERRA ELECTED RANKING MEMBER OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY SUBCOMMITTEE At a January 19 organizing meeting of the Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Becerra was elected Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Social Security—making him the top Democratic member in charge of Social Security policy in the House of Representatives. Following the meeting Rep. Becerra said: “Social Security is more than just the most effective government program in our history—it is a sacred bond between young and old, rich and poor that has made America a better country. Over its 75 year history, Social Security has eliminated poverty in old age for the vast majority of American families. And it serves as a vital life and disability insurance policy that helps millions of working families make ends meet when a mother or father can no longer work or passes away prematurely. As Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Social Security it will be my mission to protect Social Security from any attempt to harm the program, or break the bond that unites America across generations.”
A VOTE AGAINST REPEALING HEALTH CARE RIGHTS AND PATIENT PROTECTIONS On January 19, the new Republican majority in the House voted to repeal the health care rights enacted last year. Rep. Becerra voted against the bill and spoke against it on the House floor:
HONORING CONGRESSWOMAN GIFFORDS AND VICTIMS OF THE TRAGEDY IN ARIZONA On January 12, Rep. Becerra delivered remarks on the floor of the House honoring Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, her staff and the victims of the tragic shooting that took place in Tucson, Arizona on January 8:
SHORT TAKES – LOS ANGELES
TELEPHONE TOWN HALL FOCUSES ON HEALTH CARE VOTE, SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFICITS AND MORE On January 11 Rep. Becerra held his first Telephone Town Hall of the year to hear directly from residents of California’s 31st Congressional District on the priorities they would like to see addressed in the next session of Congress. Health care reform… Social Security... the cost of college… the foreclosure crisis… and many other topics were covered. Click on the links below to listen to some of the questions and answers (all files in MP3 format):