Oct 11, 2012

How You Know You’ve Been in Politics Too Long: Congresswoman Biggert Edition

After spending the last 30 years in politics, Congresswoman Judy Biggert has determined who is the enemy – AARP - America’s largest seniors organization. Congresswoman Biggert is attacking AARP for being “unfair” in their opposition to the Republican plan to end the Medicare guarantee and refuses to participate in an AARP sponsored debate. The reality is that AARP is a well-respected non-partisan organization for seniors and Congresswoman Biggert can’t handle tough questions from Illinois seniors about her record destroying Medicare just to give herself a new tax break.

“Is Congresswoman Biggert actually serious about declaring war on AARP or is she really so desperate to avoid being held accountable for her 30 year political record trying to dismantle Medicare that she’s attacking the largest seniors organization in the country?” asked Haley Morris of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Congresswoman Biggert’s attempt to smear AARP is laughable so instead of playing ridiculous political games with well-respected seniors groups, Congresswoman Biggert should answer why she voted to end the Medicare guarantee just to give more tax breaks to herself.”

Background

Biggert Has Spent the Last 30 Years in Politics.  In 1978, Biggert was elected to the Hinsdale Township High School District 86 Board of Education.  In November 1992, Biggert won her first election against Democrat David Briggs for State House district 81 and served three terms.  She was elected to Congress in 1998.  [Daily Herald, 2/23/12]

Biggert Pulled Out of Debate; Accused AARP of Bias.  In October 2012, Biggert pulled out of a scheduled debate sponsored by the AARP “citing the organization’s inability to ‘act as a neutral arbiter.’” [Fox Chicago, 10/10/12]

Voted for Ryan Budget that Would End Medicare. Biggert voted for Ryan’s FY 2013 budget that would end Medicare’s guaranteed benefit and protect $40 billion in tax breaks for big oil. It would provide people earning more than $1 million a year with an average tax cut of $265,000, but middle class families could see their taxes go up by one thousand four hundred dollars. [H Con Res 112, Vote #151, 3/29/12; Center for American Progress, 3/20/12; Center for American Progress, 3/20/12; Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/27/12Joint Economic Committee6/20/12]

Biggert is Worth at Least $2,147,063. [OpenSecrets.org, accessed 9/12/12]

AARP: Ryan’s Plan Would Increase Health Care Costs for Older Americans. AARP CEO Addison Barry Rand wrote to Members of Congress on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget resolution. In the letter, Rand wrote: “this proposal simply shifts these high and growing costs onto Medicare beneficiaries, and it then shifts even higher costs of increased uninsured care onto everyone else. […] By creating a ‘premium support’ system for future Medicare beneficiaries, the proposal is likely to simply increase costs for beneficiaries while removing Medicare’s promise of secure health coverage -- a guarantee that future seniors have contributed to through a lifetime of hard work.” [AARP Letter, 3/21/12]


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