Congressional Candidates Step Up Appeals to Older Voters

Just weeks before the midterm elections, congressional candidates across the nation are stepping up their efforts to woo older voters by zeroing in on the issues of Social Security and Medicare, especially in their campaign advertising, the New York Times reports. >> Sign up for the AARP Advocacy Newsletter “The number of television ads mentioning Social Security and Medicare in places with close congressional races testifies to the battle for retirement-age voters,” its story says, noting that older voters make …

Senate Deal on Jobless Benefits Won’t Bring Fast Relief for Unemployed

One of the hurdles blocking the extension of unemployment insurance benefits for about 2 million long-term unemployed workers has been eliminated. A small group of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate on March 13 reached an agreement that would extend benefits for another five months – gathering enough support to prevent a filibuster by opponents. The extension would be retroactive to Dec. 28, 2013, when benefits expired. Legislators who have been against extending benefits cite the cost, which runs about …

House, Senate Negotiators Reach Budget Deal

The two-year budget deal approved by House and Senate negotiators may be most notable for what it doesn’t do. The agreement, unveiled on Dec. 10, aims to keep the government from running out of money in January, avert another government shutdown, cut $23 billion from the federal deficit over two years and ease automatic spending cuts in military and many domestic programs. But the deal doesn’t make major changes in Medicare and Social Security, which many Republicans favored, and it …

Can Congress Get a Budget Deal Done?

Congress doesn’t get much done on the budget without a deadline hanging over it, and this time it’s staring at a deadline – or at least a first deadline – of Dec. 13. That’s the date by which lawmakers on a bipartisan conference committee – led by Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, and Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), her House counterpart – are supposed to come up with a budget deal. Without a deal, the government runs out …

Good News for an Older Americans’ Safety Net

Even if you aren’t familiar with the Older Americans Act, you probably know of services it makes possible: Meals on Wheels, job training, senior centers and family caregiver support, among many others. The future of this safety net for older Americans looks a little brighter because, with bipartisan support, a key Senate committee advanced legislation to reauthorize the OAA on Oct. 30. >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter. Reauthorization – the periodic process of tweaking, overhauling or ending …

Does Congress Need Some Divine Intervention?

If YouTube and Facebook had an “Amen” button, Americans fed up with the government shutdown would probably be weighing in about this video of Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black, pointing out lawmakers’ hypocrisy, unreasonableness, smugness and selfishness - all in one tidy prayer. There are plenty of furloughed federal workers, vacationers kept from shuttered parks and Social Security beneficiaries worried about having their checks stopped who would love to give lawmakers a piece of their mind about the political impasse over …