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Senate Partisanship Fails Seniors and Veterans


Location: Washington, DC

Senate Partisanship Fails Seniors and Veterans

United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today commented on the Economic Stimulus Package following a key procedural vote that fell one vote shy of meeting the necessary 60-vote threshold to move to the bill in the Senate.

Sen. Landrieu said:

"I am disappointed that partisan politics sank the Senate version of the package our nation desperately needs to stimulate the economy. This bill puts needed cash in the pocket of every American taxpayer and encourages business investment and growth. While the House of Representatives version has many good aspects, it also falls short in several critical ways.

"The House version leaves out 20 million of our seniors, many of whom are on a fixed income and are facing an increased cost of living. The Senate instead chose to provide rebate checks to senior citizens who receive at least $3,000 in Social Security income. As a group, Americans over 65 are responsible for 14 percent of all consumer spending, and the bill will benefit more than half a million Louisiana seniors, according to the AARP. The House bill serves fewer than half that, and the gap is greater when accounting for those under 65 that rely on Social Security benefits.

"The House version also leaves out 250,000 of our disabled veterans, where instead the Senate package included much needed relief for our American heroes.

"And while the House version leaves a wide open door to illegal immigrants receiving tax rebates, the Senate package makes it crystal clear that no one without a valid Social Security number can receive a rebate check.

"I will work with my colleagues in both chambers to ensure the House version is significantly strengthened before it reaches the President's desk.

"We also have yet to take steps to protect Road Home grant recipients from an impending tax burden this April 15, and I will continue to push for this relief on the Senate floor. Taxing hurricane survivors for trying to rebuild will have a negative effect on the economy opposite the vital goals of this stimulus package."

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