Social Security and Medicare are promises to the American people. They are guarantees of a dignified and secure retirement after a lifetime of hard work. Seniors have paid into these initiatives with every paycheck, and we must honor these earned benefits. In Congress, I will make sure that Social Security and Medicare are protected.

The tax hike bill not only added $1.9 trillion to the national deficit, but Congress has made it clear they plan to cut Social Security and Medicare to deal with this manufactured crisis.

I will oppose any budget that proposes cutting Social Security and Medicare to pay for the fiscally irresponsible tax plan and I’ll also oppose all efforts to privatize Social Security and Medicare. These plans would benefit insurance companies and investment firms while cutting benefits for New Jersey seniors.

We can take meaningful steps in the near term to improve Medicare and lower costs. I support allowing Medicare to leverage its buying power to negotiate drug prices. As a veteran, I know this works for the VA, and can help bring down costs for our seniors. Congress should also examine how we can allow certain individuals older than 55 to buy into Medicare.