AARP: Thousands of Calls, Emails Swayed Debt Deal


AARP of Idaho is taking some credit for Tuesday's congressional debt-ceiling deal. The Gem State chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons boasts 180,000 members.

"After hearing from millions of AARP members across the nation, including tens of thousands in Idaho, the nation's debt ceiling was raised with no cuts to the Social Security and Medicare benefits seniors have worked so hard for," said Jim Wordelman, state director for AARP in Idaho. "But we're not out of the woods yet; Medicare and Social Security benefits may still be targeted for cuts in a second round of deficit reduction negotiations that must occur before the end of the year."

Wordelman said 20,000 petitions, 2,326 emails and 1,200 phone calls went from Gem State AARP members to Congress and President Barack Obama urging them to take cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits "off the table." Ultimately Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson and Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch supported the debt-ceiling deal. Rep. Raul Labrador was the only member of the Idaho congressional delegation to vote against the measure, which was signed into law on Tuesday.