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Berkley Warns Social Security Privatization Still the Wrong Choice for Nevada Seniors, Disabled

Press Release

By:
Date:
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Congresswoman Shelley Berkley today again warned the nearly 270,000 Nevadans on Social Security that efforts to privatize the system would lead to cuts in benefits for Silver State seniors and others who rely on this program as a stable source of income. More information on this issue can be found on-line: http://berkley.house.gov/resources/senior-citizens.shtml

"I fought to protect Nevadans when President Bush and his allies tried to dismantle Social Security and I will continue to stand against this effort that would slash payments for beneficiaries across America, including seniors and the disabled," said Berkley. "In Nevada alone, nearly 270,000 men and women receive an average of $1,200 per month in Social Security benefits and many rely solely on these checks to cover food and other living expenses."

Berkley is a cosponsor of the Seniors Protection Act, a bill to provide a $250 check to all Social Security beneficiaries in Nevada and across the nation. The House is expected to vote on the measure when it returns in November. The legislation is in response to the announcement that no Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) will be provided to Social Security beneficiaries in 2011.

"I sincerely hope we act swiftly to approve these checks when Congress returns in November. Once signed into law, 54 million Americans will receive a $250 payment to help offset the effect of not having a COLA this year," said Berkley. "But I remain concerned that we could see an effort to block this bill by the same forces now leading the charge to privatize Social Security."

Berkley fought against efforts to privatize the Social Security system led by the last White House and she remains opposed to this proposal.

"Seniors, the disabled and millions of other Americans rely on Social Security and they overwhelmingly oppose any effort to privatize a system that has delivered peace of mind for generations. These "private' accounts will mean trillions of dollars being drained this vital program, placing its very future at risk. That would be a disaster for Nevada beneficiaries who would see deep cuts in the support they receive," Berkley said. "I fought to stop privatization before and I will continue to oppose this risky scheme -- and that's a promise I make to Americans of all generations."

Six in ten seniors rely on Social Security for more than half of their income, and about a third of retirees have little other than Social Security on which to live.

"Working together, we can protect Social Security so it remains strong for retirees in their golden years, for disabled Americans, for children who have lost a parent and for spouses who have lost a husband or wife. I remain committed to stopping any plan that would privatize Social Security and that would leave this important safety net for Nevadans vulnerable to the manipulation of Wall Street and global financial markets."


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