Lawmakers went on summer vacation after a contentious debate over the debt crisis. That sparked early concern among retirees that benefits they rely on for healthcare would be slashed or eliminated. The bipartisan debt agreement did not come at the expense of entitlement programs.
Pictured from left to right: Houston Councilmember Jolanda Jones (seated), Houston Democratic Congressman Al Green, Minority Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California), Reverend Bill Lawson, Houston Councilmember Wanda Adams (seated), Houston Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Houston Councilmember Melissa Noriega (seated)
Pelosi told seniors at the Power Center on Main Street that she will do what she can to protect them against proposed cuts in the future. She quoted President Lyndon Johnson,who signed the Medicare bill:
"No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine. No longer will illness crush and destroy the savings that seniors have so carefully put away over a lifetime, so that they might enjoy dignity in their later years. With the stroke of a pen, he made that transformation."
On another subject, Pelosi was asked about the country's credit-rating downgrade by Standard & Poor, and how other countries are expressing concern.
"No question, this is not a positive thing. So, we have to work very hard to demonstrate, as we have been doing, that we want to reduce the debt limit. That makes it even more reckless on the part of those who's sincerity is not with reducing the deficit, but who's determination is to destroy the public space in America. We cannot come to terms on that."
But republicans see it a bit differently.
Woodlands Congressman Kevin Brady is vice chairman of the Joint Economic Committee. He weighs in on the S&P's downgrading of America's credit rating:
Seniors pray with Minority leader Nancy Pelosi for better times ahead
"Well, it's disappointing, but certainly not unexpected. In fact, I don't understand why the rating agencies ignored the 5.5 trillion dollars that speaker Pelosi and now President Obama have racked up the last four years. Maybe this will convince Democrats to join Republicans like me, who see the way we get our financial house in order and restore our credit, is to cut far deeply than the budget control act."
Brady says the last time we had an economic down-streak like this, President Carter was in office. He says we don't need another stimulus package and that the focus should be on shrinking government.