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Tester, Baucus Hold Town Hall Meeting in Support of Protecting Social Security

Location: Billings, MT

Tester, Baucus Hold Town Hall Meeting in Support of Protecting Social Security

Tester, Baucus vow to fight all privatization schemes

Today U.S. Senate candidate Jon Tester and Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus renewed their pledge to protect Social Security at a town hall meeting in Billings. Tester and Baucus were joined by Max Richtman, head of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare, while they signed a Declaration of Unity to "protect Social Security and stop privatization." An earlier event in Great Falls drew a crowd of over 100.

Montanans would see their lifetime Social Security benefits cut by more than $78,000 under the privatization plan supported by Sen. Conrad Burns.

Baucus, the ranking member of Senate Finance Committee, led the successful fight in Congress against privatization and today praised Tester's strong record of standing up for the more than 150,000 Montana seniors and other Montanans who rely on the program as a lifeline.

Sen. Burns supports plans to privatize social security even though it would have devastating effects on Montana's seniors and add trillions to the nation's debt. Sen. Burns voted to divert money from payroll taxes to establish Social Security personal accounts and reaffirmed his support for private Social Security accounts in a survey last month. Sen. Burns has said he is "intrigued by personally owned accounts."

"Privatizing Social Security is a non-starter — it always has been and always will be. I was proud to lead the fight in Congress to protect Social Security and I will continue working to protect Social Security for generations to come," Baucus said. "We won the first round, but privatization advocates will continue to bring this issue back to the floor and I need a partner like Jon Tester to make sure we protect this program for Montana seniors and future generations."

Jon Tester has consistently opposed attempts to privatize Social Security in the Montana State Senate:

* Tester voted for a resolution that urged Congress not to privatize Social Security.
* Tester co-sponsored a resolution to protect Social Security without privatization.
* Tester voted to urge equitable services and benefits for all Medicare recipients.
* Tester is endorsed by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare in his bid for U.S. Senate against Sen. Burns.

"There's only one candidate in this race who seniors can count on to protect Social Security, and that's Jon Tester," Richtman said.

"Millions of Americans rely on Social Security and have earned their benefits. This program is the reason over 60,000 Montana seniors do not have to live in poverty. I won't gamble with Montanans' futures and as your next United States Senator, you can be assured I will fight any and all schemes to privatize Social Security," Tester said.

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