U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart (D-Illinois) issued a statement Thursday celebrating the 79th anniversary of the Social Security Act being signed into law. President Franklin Roosevelt signed Social Security into law Aug. 14, 1935.
“In 1935, over half of our seniors were living in poverty,” Enyart said. “Today, thanks to Social Security, less than 10 percent are living below the poverty line – still too many, but progress is being made.
“In the 12th Congressional District, over 137,000 Southern Illinoisans receive Social Security benefits. That’s almost $156 million being poured into our economy each month due to this program.
“Social Security has been a stable and secure source of income for millions of seniors and families, many of whom desperately need it, over these last seven decades. Social Security’s economic impact benefits state economies and local businesses all across the country. Families spend $775 billion in Social Security benefits nationwide each year.
“Before commanding the Illinois National Guard, I worked as an attorney in Southern Illinois. I assisted countless seniors with Social Security and disability cases. I fought to protect their rights and hard-earned dollars. In Congress, I’ve done the same. Just last month, the Social Security Administration announced devastating cuts to services and field offices, including offices in Carbondale, Mount Vernon, Belleville, East St. Louis, West Frankfort and Alton. I worked to reverse these cuts, and maintain full services at our Southern Illinois offices.
“We cannot afford to balance the budget on the backs of our seniors. I oppose voucher programs, chained CPI, and uncertain stock market risks with our Social Security investments. It’s time we take a serious look at common sense measures to ensure hard earned benefits for generations to come.
“Join me in supporting Social Security for our seniors across Southern Illinois, as we celebrate its 79th year.”