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AARP AARP States Texas Advocacy

AARP Texas Brings Federal Legislative Priorities To Members of Congress

As a wise friend and fierce defender, AARP works every day to make communities and states even greater places for everyone to live, work and thrive. In Texas, we work with community partners and public officials at the local, state and federal levels to support policies that positively impact older Texans and their families.

In recent weeks, volunteers, including AARP Texas Executive Councilmember Reynaldo Ortiz, and a handful of AARP Texas staff members – including Associate State Directors Charles Cascio and Joe Sanchez, State-Federal Strategy Director Kathy Green, and State Director Tina Tran – have met with various members of Congress across Texas to discuss key issues. It’s part of a nationwide AARP effort to touch base with members of Congress during the “August recess” when the federal lawmakers typically return to their home districts.

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U.S. Reps. Vicente Gonzalez (second from left) and Colin Allred (on the right) are among members of Congress from Texas that were part of recent AARP Texas visits. Also pictured are AARP Texas Associate State Director Joe Sanchez (far left) and State-Federal Strategy Director Kathy Green.

The Texas congressional delegation, with 38 members (25 Republicans and 13 Democrats) is one of the nation’s largest, and the focus and experience of the lawmakers varies widely.

While various issues have been mentioned during the visits, Sanchez said the conversations are tailored to the congressional committees on which the members serve. But all of the conversations have involved the topic of family caregiving. Texas has more family caregivers (3.1 million) than all other states except California. In Texas, caregivers provide $41 billion of unpaid care each year, according to AARP’s Valuing The Invaluable report.

Throughout the country, the priorities and requests this year from AARP to members of Congress include:

Family Caregiving
Texas’ 3.1 million caregivers need support providing care and keeping up with out-of-pocket costs. AARP Texas asked members of Congress to join the bipartisan, bicameral Assisting Caregivers Today (ACT) Caucus to explore and uplift solutions that support caregivers.

Social Security Administration (SSA) Funding
Social Security is a benefit for all seniors who have worked to earn. When they currently call the SSA for help, they are often met with long waiting processes. We’re asking Congress to support additional funding for customer service improvement and to hold the SSA accountable.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
The EITC is a significant tax advantage for working Texans. We’re asking members of Congress to support eliminating the discriminatory age cap of 65 so that older Texans that may still be working can benefit from this tax break.

Funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
Many communities and rural parts of Texas lack access to affordable high-speed internet. Without this access – and the digital skills needed to use it – too many older Texans cannot participate fully in today’s economy. They risk missing out on opportunities like online learning and keeping social connections crucial to their well-being. They can’t shop online for essentials like groceries and may not be able to virtually see their doctors or health care specialists, who be located miles away.

The ACP provides eligible Americans with up to $30 a month discount on internet services and a one-time $100 discount for a laptop, desktop computer or tablet. Visit for details.

We need Congress to support funding for the ACP, which expires in 2023.

Prescription Drugs
The costs of prescription drugs can be a heavy burden on older and retired Texans. We’re asking members of Congress what their plans are to address the high cost of prescription drugs.

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U.S. Rep. Beth Van Duyne expressed her support for Social Security and Medicare during a recent visit with AARP Texas Director Tina Tran and Associate State Director Charles Cascio.

Learn more about AARP Texas here and sign up here to become an AARP Advocate. It’s free. You’ll receive e-mail action alerts on the issues you care about and the latest news on happenings everywhere from our Texas cities and towns to what’s going on at the State Capitol and in Washington.

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