What is the big deal about one more Continuing Resolution? Most Americans have no problem with yet another Continuing Resolution, but the military and federal employees have major problems.
While Democrats in the Senate take their time thinking about their best political response to the House Budget proposal, the Defense Department is stuck in a strategy from 2009. Two months ago, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates met with a bipartisan group of House freshmen and asked us to please finalize a real budget as soon as possible. He explained that new defense projects and strategies cannot begin under a Continuing Resolution, so every weapons system, strategy and plan has been on hold for weeks while the Senate debates its next move.
Without Social Security, nearly half of Americans age 65 and older would live in poverty. And yet, the very foundation of Social Security is under silent attack.
About 160 million Americans contribute to Social Security through payroll taxes. In New York State alone, Social Security provides over $42 billion in benefits each year to one in every six residents – over 3.1 million people. That is equivalent to 4 percent of the state’s annual GDP in Social Security benefits alone.
In the congressional district that I represent, Social Security benefits total $1.68 billion to over 128,000 people. Nearly one in five people – including senior citizens, disabled and children – rely on this vital program.
With the debate over federal entitlement programs expected to intensify in the coming weeks, Congress needs to keep in mind how cuts in Social Security would affect American families. Not just a retirement program, Social Security provides essential protections for people of all ages, like Chicago native Beth Finke.
Beth was only 3 when her father died. Without the survivor benefits that her mother received for Beth and her brothers and sisters, making ends meet would have been impossible. Social Security kept her family afloat – and later, a Social Security student benefit made it possible for Beth to go to college.
Beth is paying back now. Even after losing her sight in her 20s, her education enabled her to support herself as an adult. She works and contributes to Social Security with deductions from every paycheck.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor Thursday regarding the need to reduce Washington spending.
Mr. President, for two years, Washington Democrats have taken fiscal recklessness to new heights. They’ve spent trillions of dollars we don’t have on things we don’t need and can’t afford.
The amount of red ink Democrats plan to rack up this year alone would exceed all the debt run up by the federal government from its inception through 1984. This recklessness is the reason we’ve seen a national uprising against their policies. Americans have demanded that we reverse this recklessness and restore balance.