In conjunction with our 50th anniversary celebration in 2008, AARP launched its Congressional Awards Program to honor members of Congress from across America who championed legislation to improve the lives of Americans age 50+ and their families.
The awards were created to recognize members of Congress who took action on legislation that will help age-50+ Americans by improving health care and bringing down overall health care costs, protecting the economic and retirement security of older Americans, and ensuring that their communities are affordable, safe, and accessible.
"Launching the AARP Congressional Awards program is our way of recognizing members of Congress for their outstanding leadership on issues of great importance to Americans age 50+," said AARP's Chief Executive Officer, Bill Novelli. "The awards program gives our 40 million members and their families the opportunity to demonstrate their appreciation for the work these leaders have done to advance legislation that will improve the lives of older Americans."
In the 110th Congress, AARP recognized 20 members of Congress (10 in the House and 10 in the Senate) with several legislative awards.
The Legislative Excellence Award was given to Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) for their work to include the seniors' rebate in the spring 2008 economic stimulus package.
The Legislative Achievement Award was bestowed on 15 legislators for their leadership in enacting bills in four issue areas: Medicare, housing, nutrition, and falls prevention.
The Legislative Leadership Award was granted to three legislators for their work in two issue areas, automatic IRAs and 401(k) fee-disclosure legislation.
AARP's Congressional Award Program will recognize members of Congress on an annual basis. The 2008 award recipients included:
For their leadership to improve economic security for older Americans:
• Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
• Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
For their leadership to protect and improve Medicare for the most vulnerable:
• Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.)
• Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.)
• Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.)
• Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)
• Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.)
• Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas)
For their leadership to preserve affordable home ownership for older Americans:
• Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.)
• Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
• Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)
For their leadership to protect nutrition assistance for older Americans:
• Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.)
• Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.)
For their leadership to keep older Americans safe from falls:
• Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.)
• Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)
• Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.)
• Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas)
For their leadership to protect and improve retirement security:
• Rep. Phil English (R-Pa.)
• Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.)
• Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.)