Lobby Day: Taking Capitol Hill by Storm

United States Capitol Building

Today, I’m proud to join AARP volunteers from every state in making our voices heard on Capitol Hill. We will meet with members of the House and Senate from all 50 states, urging them to pass laws to protect and enhance the health and economic security of all people as they age. We will also express our thanks to those members who helped pass a “doc fix” law that allows Medicare beneficiaries to continue seeing their physicians.

The issues we will be discussing will affect the health, safety and financial resilience of millions of American families. They include:

Financial conflicts of interest: AARP volunteers will be talking to members of Congress about AARP’s opposition to any legislation that seeks to stop or slow a proposed rule requiring all retirement advisers to give advice in their clients’ best interest. AARP volunteers also delivered petitions containing more than 26,000 signatures to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) supporting a best interest standard for retirement advisers in response to the release of DOL’s proposed rule this month. Each year hidden fees, unfair risk and bad investment advice rob Americans of an estimated $17 billion of retirement income.

The Older Americans Act (S.192): The reauthorization of the bipartisan Older Americans Act would help ensure the continued array of programs and services to assist, protect, nourish and sustain the nation’s seniors with maximum dignity and independence. Since 2010, AARP has consistently supported and urged a simple reauthorization to protect the core programs of this crucial law.

Keep Up to Date On Where We Stand - AARP Advocacy Newsletter »

The Safe Streets Act: The bipartisan Safe Streets Act (reintroduced yesterday in the House) would ensure that planners and traffic engineers design, construct and operate roads with the safety of all users in mind by directing states and metropolitan planning organizations to create a “safe streets” policy within two years of enactment. The policy would be different for each locality based on the individual communities.

Assisting Caregivers Today (ACT) Caucus: AARP backed the formation of the bipartisan, bicameral caucus as a forum to engage those in the House and Senate on family caregiving and living independently, exchange ideas, and build bipartisan relationships that can lead to solutions. Volunteers will seek to expand this important caucus. The caucus was launched in March by Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Reps. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.).

Social Security: If Congress does not address the shortfall in the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) trust fund, children, veterans, older workers, families and others who receive disability insurance benefits may face a 20 percent cut in benefits. AARP seeks a reallocation of the trust funds with improved program integrity measures.

Even if you are not with us on Capitol Hill today, you can make your voice heard on these issues by contacting your elected representatives in Washington and urging them to support laws to protect and enhance the health, safety and financial well-being of all older Americans.

Photo: fstockfoto/iStock

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