Maui News

Hirono Votes to Protect Social Security and Medicare

July 20, 2011, 11:52 AM HST
* Updated July 20, 1:41 PM
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By Wendy Osher

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) voted yesterday against a Republican-introduced bill that proposes to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.

H.R. 2560, also referred to as the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, was introduced to avoid a federal government default on its obligations by limiting discretionary spending, putting a cap on federal spending, and increasing the debt limit.

U.S. Rep. Hirono said the measure, which passed in the House by a vote of 234 to 190, “threatens both Medicare and Social Security.”  A press release issued by Hirono’s office referred to the bill as “job-killing legislation,” with claims that the measure would also result in cuts to education, transportation, and research and development.

“We need Republican leaders to end the antics and start addressing the most pressing problems facing our country: creating jobs and getting our economy moving again,” said U.S. Rep. Hirono.

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U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, also of Hawai’i addressed the issue in a floor speech before the Senate on Monday saying, “I hope we can reach an agreement that will bring down the debt without placing most of the burden on the vulnerable among us: the sick, the poor, the long-term unemployed, and the elderly.”

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As debate on the debt limit continues, U.S. Sen. Akaka urged his colleagues to remember the nation’s obligations to “preserve creditworthiness” and defend those who depend on Social Security.

A statement from the Executive Office of the President on Monday stated that the Obama Administration is opposed to the measure.

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