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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding comments by House Republican leaders attacking Democrats and the AARP for opposing the privatization of Social Security:
“The comments today by the Republican House leadership demonstrate two things: their frustration at failing to hoodwink the American people into supporting Social Security privatization and their desperation.
“The Republican plan to privatize Social Security is anything but a solution; in fact, it would exacerbate an already ballooning Republican budget deficit that future generations will inherit. The more Republicans try to ‘educate’ the public about privatization, the more support for the proposal drops. Statements from President Bush, Secretary Snow, and Congressional Republicans show a party gasping in desperation.
“Democrats want to strengthen Social Security, not sabotage it through privatization the way that the Bush Administration has proposed. To call Democrats the ‘party of no’ is ridiculous. While Democrats are absolutely saying ‘no’ to diverting Social Security funds to private accounts and ‘no’ to an additional $2 trillion being added to the deficit, we are ready and willing to sit down and address the challenges to Social Security.
“Attacking the AARP, one of the most respected organizations in the country, won’t help Republicans overcome the grassroots groundswell against Social Security privatization that they heard for themselves over the President’s Day recess. In the past two weeks, five more House Members have turned against the Republican privatization plan for a total of 34. Republicans can only lose 14 Members and still pass a bill.
“Democrats are united behind preserving Social Security and making sure Americans get the benefits and protection they have earned.”