Are your members of Congress looking out for you?

By BERRY CRAIG

AFT Local 1360

"Elections have consequences," warns Kentucky State AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan.

He's right.

"It doesn't matter who gets elected--politicians are all the same." How many times have we heard that baloney? (I can think of a stronger word than "baloney," but this is a family-friendly website.)

Want proof, especially if you're a union retiree like me? Look no further than the 2020 Congressional Voting Record released today by the Alliance for Retired Americans. The ARA "works closely with the White House and Congress to ensure that seniors’ issues like retirement security and prescription drug prices get the attention they deserve," according to the group's website.

The Voting Record "scores 10 key votes every U.S. senator and representative took last year that affected your retirement security," explains an email we got from Richard Fiesta, ARA executive director.

Fiesta was a featured speaker at the 2019 state AFL-CIO convention in Lexington.

"I encourage you to click here, take a look and see whether your representative and senators are working for you, and encourage your family and friends to do the same," he adds in the email.

So, fellow retirees, "are your members of Congress looking out for you?" 

You be the judge. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, both Republicans, backed the ARA position on just two of the 10 bills. Since he's been in Washington, McConnell has been at odds with the ARA stance on legislation 90 percent of the time, Paul, 86 percent. 

Five of Kentucky's six members of Congress are Republicans. Here's how many ARA-endorsed bills they voted for in 2020: James Comer, one; Brett Guthrie, none; Thomas Massie, none; Rogers three; and Andy Barr, none.

Comer has stood with the ARA just 10 percent of the time he's been in office, Guthrie, eight; Massie, 18; Rogers, 10; and Barr 6.   

Not surprisingly, Kentucky AFL-CIO-endorsed Congressman John Yarmuth, a Louisvillian and Kentucky's sole Democrat on Capitol Hill, voted for all 10 bills. In his House tenure, Yarmuth has been on board with ARA-endorsed legislation 100 percent of the time.   

"What happens in Washington, DC matters to the daily lives of retirees and their families," Fiesta says. "Votes in Congress can strengthen or weaken retirement security immediately and into the future."

Amen. 

Fiesta added a postscript: "P.S. We think every retiree needs this important information. Can you chip in $3 to help us spread the word and reach more people?"

I chipped in a tad more. My PS: There's a Kentucky chapter of ARA. Check it out on Facebook.