Ms. PINGREE of Maine. Mr. Speaker, 75 years ago Frances Perkins, a wonderful woman who came from a long line of Maine farmers and craftsmen, addressed the Nation as the Secretary of Labor. In addition to being the first woman Cabinet member in our Nation's history, she was also the person President Roosevelt put in charge of creating the Social Security system. In her address, she talked about creating a system to ``provide safeguards against the misfortunes which cannot be wholly eliminated in this man-made world of ours.''
Nearly 300,000 people in my State now receiving benefits are living proof that for 75 years Social Security has done just what Frances Perkins hoped for--assuring a decent standard of living in good times and in bad for seniors and for countless others.
From disability insurance and survivors' benefits to providing a cushion during retirement, Social Security has allowed Americans to retain their independence and their dignity. It must be preserved.