Congressman Crowley Hosts Social Security Event at Northeast Bronx Senior Center

Sep 2, 2010 Issues: Seniors

Washington, D.C. —On Wednesday, September 1, Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) hosted a public forum on Social Security at the Northeast Bronx Senior Center to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the enactment of Social Security. Crowley highlighted the program’s successes, discussed efforts to protect the program, and addressed questions from the center’s seniors.
“Seventy-five years ago, America’s seniors were made a promise of economic security and stability – a promise that after a lifetime of hard work, their financial future would be protected,” said Congressman Crowley. “Hard-working Americans who have paid into the system for almost their entire lives earned this guaranteed benefit. We must continue to uphold the promise of Social Security for seniors today, and for many generations to come.”

Signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935, Social Security was created at a time when the American economy had crumbled and was struggling to recover.  Pensions were almost non-existent, and a majority of seniors were unable to support themselves after retirement. Today, more than 50 million Americans, including 3.2 million in New York, rely on Social Security’s guaranteed benefits for retirement security or to make ends meet, put food on the table and stay in their homes. 

During the event, Crowley reiterated his pledge to oppose any effort to privatize Social Security or cut benefits, recognizing that Social Security is not the government’s money, but people’s money.
“Seniors, and many other Americans for that matter, called foul on privatization five years ago and are doing so once again,” said Crowley. “After seeing how much private retirement accounts lost during this recession, it is clear that Americans do not want to gamble on their financial future by handing it over to Wall Street.”

One participant announced that she had just received a $250 check from the Federal government as a down payment to seniors to address the current coverage gap under the current Medicare prescription drug program. Known as the "donut hole," this prescription drug coverage gap forces many seniors to struggle to afford the medications they need, or simply go without. The new Health Insurance Reform law eliminates this coverage gap in prescription drug prices over the next several years – including a $250 payment to any senior who falls in the coverage gap this year. 
“For many seniors, these ‘donut hole’ checks are the first example of how the Health Insurance Reform law will strengthen Medicare and, like Social Security, ultimately help seniors,” said Crowley.

Today’s event at the Northeast Bronx Senior Center is part of Congressman Crowley’s ongoing efforts to meet with seniors across the 7th Congressional District to discuss his commitment to preserve and strengthen Social Security.

Congressman Crowley is the six-term representative from the 7th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He sits on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, which oversees Social Security.