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Public Statements

America's Greatest Generation--Our Senior Citizens

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. JENKINS. I thank the gentlelady from Missouri for yielding, and I appreciate my fellow Republican women stepping up this evening to have an honest fact-based discussion about one of our Nation's most valued resources--our senior citizens.

As I travel through Kansas each week, I always hear from folks who have had to tighten their belts over the last few years, and the overwhelming message I hear is that Kansans want their government to do the same, and seniors are no different.

While special interest groups, many in the media, and several of our colleagues across the aisle like to paint our Nation's seniors as weak, terrified of budget cuts, and beholden to the Federal Government for financial security, seniors in Kansas know better. These are strong men and women who have seen our Nation through a world war, cultural upheaval, and cyclical financial turmoil. They have always stayed true to the ideals and principles that make this country great. They have always been willing to make the necessary sacrifices to better their lives and those of their children and grandchildren, and they continue to display that same commitment during our current struggles.

But you know what? Just because our seniors are willing to sacrifice does not mean we should continue to demand it. It's time we, the beneficiaries of their hard work and sacrifice, stopped asking for more and allowed our seniors to have the security and certainty that they have earned through decade upon decade of hard work.

That's why I'm pleased to have supported the Republican House budget earlier this year that will save a Medicare system that could be bankrupt in 8 years if we do nothing, and it makes a plan to save Social Security, which isn't far behind. Our plan saves these programs for the next generation while preserving 100 percent of the benefits for those Americans currently in or near retirement.

I'll continue to fight to ensure seniors don't see any cuts in their benefits, like the cuts that were provided for under the President's health care law, which cuts Medicare by $500 billion and allows a board of bureaucrats to begin rationing care. We will, instead, continue to work to protect and strengthen these important programs.

The economic turmoil over the last several years has impacted all of us, including our seniors. Our Nation's senior citizens, the Greatest Generation, worked their entire lives to make this country what it is today. Keeping the promises made to them over the years must be a priority of this Congress and of this Nation.

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