May 20, 2020
Senator Joni Ernst’s Anti-Retiree Voting Record
Shame on Senator Joni Ernst who earned a 20% score on retiree issues for 2019. We will remember this.
The Alliance for Retired Americans’ annual voting record scores every U.S. Representative and Senator on issues affecting current and future retirees.
For 2019, the Alliance for Retired Americans reviewed 10 key Senate and House votes for legislation that affected the health and well-being of retirees, including skyrocketing prescription drug prices.
Find your current federal representatives here.
- Readler Confirmation – The Senate considered the nomination of Chad Readler to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. While a senior Justice Department political appointee, Readler filed the brief on behalf of the Trump Administration to strike down the Afford-able Care Act (ACA). If the ACA is overturned, 25 million seniors 50-64 years old, could lose health insurance. Readler was confirmed 52- 47. A NO vote is the pro-retiree vote. PN 248, Roll Call 37, March 6, 2019.
- House Disaster Relief – The Senate voted on a resolution to debate the House disaster relief supplemental bill, which would provide $14.2 billion in assistance to communities hurt by natural disasters, includ-ing many low-income seniors who were impacted by them. The resolution failed 46-48. A YES vote is the pro-retiree vote. H.R. 268, Roll Call 56, April 1, 2019.
- 9/11 Responders Funds – Senator Lee, R-UT, offered an amendment to limit funding for the Sept 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The bill fully funds health benefits for Sept 11th first responders who were exposed to toxic chemicals and whose average age is 50. Many have become ill, disabled or have died. The amend-ment failed 32-66. A NO vote is the pro-retiree vote. S. Amdt. 928 to H.R. 1327, Roll Call 222, July 23, 2019.
- Seniors Program Cuts I – Senator Paul, R-KY, offered an amendment requiring cuts in other programs, including seniors programs, in order to fund the Sept 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The bill fully funds health benefits for Sept 9/11 first responders who were exposed to toxic chemicals and whose average age is 50. Many have become ill, disabled or have died. The amend-ment failed 22-77. A NO vote is the pro-retiree vote. S. Amdt. 929 to H.R. 1327, Roll Call 223, July 23, 2019.
- Balanced Budget Amendment – Senator Paul, R-KY, offered an amendment to the Bipartisan Budget Act allowing an increase in the debt ceiling only after Congress enacts a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the amendment would require $11.3 trillion in cuts from projected spending levels over 10 years disproportion-ately affecting health programs for seniors. The vote failed 23-70. A NO vote is the pro-retiree vote. S. Amdt. 932 to H.R. 3877, Roll Call 260, August 1, 2019.
- Seniors Programs Funding – The Senate voted on a motion to debate the Labor, HHS and Defense appropriations bills. The Senate Labor, HHS bill only included a 1% increase in funding. The small increase threatens public health and Older Americans Act programs that allow seniors to remain in the home. The motion failed by 51-44. Sixty votes are needed to proceed. A NO vote is the pro-retiree vote. H.R. 2740, Roll Call 292, September 18, 2019.
- Family Leave Cutbacks – The Senate debated a motion to instruct the defense bill conferees reviewing family and medical leave to consider providing compensatory time or tax incentives rather than monetary assistance. Most sick workers or caregivers need monetary assistance during sickness or caregiving. The motion passed 55-39. A NO vote is the pro-retiree vote.S.Res. 336, Roll Call 307, September 25, 2019.
- Scalia Confirmation – The Senate voted on the nomination of Eugene Scalia to become the Secretary of Labor. As Solicitor of Labor in 2002 and 2003, Scalia was criticized for failing to adequately protect workers, including health benefits issues. In private practice, he fought the fiduciary rule for retirement accounts, which would have required financial advisers to put the interest of their clients ahead of their own. Scalia was con-firmed 52-42. A NO vote is the pro-retiree vote. PN 1099, Roll Call 309, September 25, 2019.
- Seniors Programs Cuts II – Senator Paul, R-KY, offered an amendment to the government funding bill requiring a 2% cut to discretionary spending. Many programs that allow seniors to remain independent and in their homes such as Meals on Wheels, transportation and home care are funded through discretionary spending. The amendment failed 24-73. A NO vote is the pro-retiree vote. H.R.4378, Roll Call 310, September 26, 2019.
- Protect Healthcare – The Senate debated a resolution of disapproval against a 2018 guidance issued by the Department of Health and Human Services expanding the ability of states to grant insur-ance standards waivers. These waivers would allow states to approve plans that do not provide coverage for pre-existing conditions. The resolution failed 43-52. A YES vote is the pro-retiree vote. S.J.Res. 52, Roll Call 337, October 30, 2019.