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August 25th, 2010
Grijalva Calls on Simpson to Recuse Himself From Fiscal Commission After Publicized Remarks Show His Disdain for Social Security

Tucson, Ariz.– Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said today that recent remarks by National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Co-Chair Alan Simpson suggest that he should consider recusing himself from his responsibilities. “It has become increasingly apparent that his disdain for Social Security is out of line with the majority of Americans,” Grijalva said. “His disregard for the integrity of the program, and for women in general, is unsettling. Americans have invested and earned their right to have a secure retirement, whether or not Sen. Simpson agrees.”

Grijalva’s statement comes after the National Older Women’s League (OWL) released an Aug. 23 email Simpson sent to Ashley Carson, the group’s executive director. In it, Simpson writes: “If you have some better suggestions about how to stabilize Social Security instead of just babbling into the vapors, let me know. And yes, I’ve made some plenty smart cracks about people on Social Security who milk it to the last degree. You know ‘em too. It’s the same with any system in America. We’ve reached a point now where it’s like a milk cow with 310 million tits! Call when you get honest work!”

Responding to Sen. Simpson’s characterization, Grijalva pointed out that Social Security is vital for millions of women who continue to earn less over their lifetimes than men and are less often covered by private retirement plans. “Social Security belongs to every American who has worked hard, paid taxes, and earned a good retirement. Social Security does not contribute a penny to the federal deficit, and its benefits should not be cut in a misguided attempt to reduce that deficit. If Sen. Simpson truly feels the disgust at Social Security he indicates in this letter, he should consider recusing himself from the commission.”

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