Volunteers and staff from Massachusetts spent the day today on Capitol Hill, visiting U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Edward Markey (D-MA), and Massachusetts U.S. Reps. James McGovern (D-MA), Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA), and William Keating (D-MA), to discuss legislation and issues of concern to those 50+.
Among the issues raised with members of the House and Senate from Massachusetts were:
- Financial Conflicts of Interest: In addition to bringing more than 26,000 petition signature petitions to the U.S. Department of Labor, AARP volunteers spoke with members of Congress about AARP’s opposition to legislation that seeks to stop or slow a proposed rule requiring all retirement advisers to give advice in their clients’ best interest. Each year hidden fees, unfair risk, and bad investment advice rob Americans of $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.
- The Safe Streets Act: Expected to be reintroduced today in the House, the bipartisan Safe Streets Act 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 (MPOs) to create a "safe streets" policy within two years of enactment. The policy would be different for each locality based on its 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. The caucus was launched in March of this year by U.S. Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Michael Bennet (D-CO), and U.S. Reps. Diane Black (R-TN) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM).
- 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 their benefits. AARP seeks a reallocation of the trust funds with improved program integrity measures.