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Congresswoman Sánchez Hosts National Forum on Women & Social Security

May 10, 2005
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez joined other women Members of Congress, including House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, in hosting a National Forum on Women and Social Security.

“We know that the Republican privatization proposal hurts everyone, but women are particularly at risk,” said Congresswoman Sánchez. “We must not mortgage the future of our children and grandchildren by borrowing trillions from foreign countries to pay for private accounts. The President’s plan involves massive cuts in benefits for millions of middle class women and families.”

“Social Security is clearly one of the most successful government programs in the history of the United States. This is particularly true for the 24 million women in this country as they rely on Social Security for more of their retirement income than men. Currently, more than 7.5 million women receive Social Security benefits and without them, the poverty rate among women retires would skyrocket to over 50%,” stated Sánchez. Congresswoman Sánchez also highlighted that Republican cuts could apply to survivor and disability benefits.

The forum focused on “Families and Children” and “Women in the Workforce,” and included experts from the National Women’s Law Center, the National Partnership for Women and Families, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Business and Professional Women/USA. Several middle class citizens concerned about the future of Social Security also testified to the Members of Congress about the impact of this proposal.

According to Congresswoman Sánchez, Social Security provides retirement and economic security to the more than 24 million women receiving Social Security. Women make up 58 percent of seniors receiving Social Security, and without Social Security, 53 percent of all senior women would be poor. In 2000, Social Security lifted 7 million senior women out of poverty.

“The President’s proposal would be the largest single benefit cut in Social Security history, and would hit 70 percent of Americans. Americans have earned their benefits and I will fight to protect them,” Congresswoman Sánchez told the audience of representatives from women’s organizations.

Democrats attending the forum reiterated their commitment to protecting the Social Security benefits people have earned, and said they will not support a plan that makes the Social Security problem even worse by draining almost $5 trillion away from the program and adding to the national debt.