February 16, 2009
Washington, D.C. – In a historic and critical vote, Congress today passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Designated as a “key vote” by AARP on behalf of its 40 million members, the elected officials’ votes will be posted on AARP’s Government Watch site so that individuals across the nation can see how their elected official voted on this legislation.
Nancy LeaMond, Executive Vice President at AARP, released the following statement today:
“Unprecedented job loss, loss of savings and investments, and rising numbers of uninsured individuals has forced every American to take notice of this dire moment in history. The passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is a critical moment for Americans young and old and a vital jump start to our ailing economy.
“AARP is pleased to see that Congress included a $250 economic recovery payment for older Americans, veterans and people with disabilities who are not eligible for the Make Work Pay credit.
“Additionally, we are encouraged by the long-term investment made by Congress that brings us steps closer to health care reform. Funding for health information technology, comparative effectiveness research and nurse and primary care training are all essential building blocks for reform and AARP is encouraged by their inclusion in the stimulus bill.
“While this landmark legislation is crucial to addressing our nation’s most pressing issues today, many critical issues remain, including bolstering and securing the housing market, protecting homeowners from foreclosure and jumpstarting the credit markets. As an organization that regularly works with both sides of the aisle, we are hopeful for bipartisan solutions to these issues as Congress and the new administration move forward.
In a recent letter from AARP CEO Bill Novelli to House and Senate leadership outlines the most important issues for older Americans in this legislation:
The bill contains many provisions that we believe are paramount to promoting economic growth, assisting those most affected by the economic crisis, and providing the foundation for meeting critical needs, such as health care and the development of livable communities. Among the provisions we agree are especially needed are: