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AARP CEO Responds to State of the Union Address

CONTACT: AARP Media Relations, 202-434-2560,

Washington, DC—AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins attended tonight’s State of the Union Address and released this statement following the speech:

En español l “The President’s speech comes at the beginning of an historic year for older Americans. This summer Medicare turns 50, and Social Security turns 80. Some in the new Congress have already sought to limit these modest, crucial, earned promises that took shape when too many older Americans faced poverty. As Social Security and Medicare have protected the middle class and kept millions out of poverty for generations, and many families and Americans of all ages continue to struggle, we must seek to strengthen them. 

“As we anticipate new budget proposals from the President and Congress, we urge our elected representatives to fight for responsible solutions to strengthen Medicare and Social Security.  If elected officials truly do want a strong middle class to have real possibilities in their lives, they must demonstrate as much with proposals that reflect the needs and views of the people they represent, instead of generating proposals that could cause irreparable harm. 

“In November, voters sent the message that they want to see our elected officials work together. AARP will continue to raise our voice on behalf of older Americans and the benefits they have earned and need. We’ll continue to work with the President and members of Congress from both parties to bolster health and retirement security for today’s older Americans and for future generations.

“This year AARP will also be an active participant in the White House Conference on Aging and a series of forums to be held around the nation. We hope that elected officials with a diversity of viewpoints join this conversation to have an honest dialogue about aging in America.”

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About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin;; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at

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