By Kelsey Givens
On the 77th anniversary of Social Security being signed into law, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, a candidate for U.S. senator, kicked off her campaign tour addressing Social Security and Medicare at the Pahrump Senior Center Tuesday morning.
“Today is a very special day,” she began. “It’s the 77th birthday of Social Security. On this day, Aug. 14, 1935, then president FDR, Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Social Security into law and the man made history for this great country.”
Berkley spoke to seniors at the senior center yesterday morning, explaining the importance of that act, and why today she believes those two important programs are under attack.
“Social Security along with Medicare are two solid promises that we have made to America’s seniors. The promise is this, if you play by the rules, you work hard all your life, pay into the system, you won’t have to worry about living in poverty once you retire. That’s the promise Social Security made with the rest of us,” Berkley said.
“And unfortunately, as I stand here with all of you, celebrating the success of Social Security and Medicare, Social Security and Medicare are under attack by Washington Republicans like my opponent Dean Heller,” she added.
Berkley explained as part of her campaign, she’s running to strengthen and improve Medicare and to keep it from getting cut or privatized, as she said some Republicans would like to see done.
“It’s worth fighting for, it’s worth standing up in front of you,” she said. “I proudly proclaim my support for the continuation of Medicare as we have it now.”
Though there are some issues with Medicare as it stands today, Berkley acknowledged, privatizing or completely cutting the program is not the answer she said.
“I agree we have to make some changes in Medicare to make sure it continues for generations to come, but you don’t fix Medicare by killing it,” Berkley said.
The congresswoman says if elected, she will work with senators from both parties to ensure the longevity of the program needed by so many seniors.
Though already a 14-year veteran of the legislative branch, having served all those years as a Nevada congresswoman, Berkley said she is now running for the Senate because she believes she’ll be able to do more good there than in the U.S. House of Representatives.
She said working in a smaller group of people could make her voice, and therefore the voice of her constituents that much better heard.
“I am the one who will stand with you and fight along side you and make sure that the gains that we have fought for in this country all these years are going to be there for our seniors for our working families and middle class in this country that made America great. That my friends, my fellow citizens, is why I am running for the United States Senate,” she proclaimed at the end of her speech at the Pahrump Senior Center.
And her message seemed for the most part well received by those in attendance at the event Tuesday morning.
“It was great, she hit all of the important points,” Annette Dhyms, a senior citizen at the event, said after the speech. “Who’s going to give me a job at 83 if those programs are cut?”
Kevin Doyle, another senior citizen present at the event, said he was left with a few questions he hoped the congresswoman could answer after the event about the fate of his lifetime care guaranteed to him for serving in the military.
Berkley’s tour continues from here to other areas around the state, where she’ll continue to campaign on her platform to save Medicare and work to improve it rather than cut it.