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New York Alliance for Retired Americans WNY Chapter of NYSARA
Stephen Muscarella, President
NYS PEF Retirees


With More Than 500,000 Retired Union Members Living Across New York State Today, Including More Than 100,000 Right Here in Western New York, is Proud to be Working With the Representatives of the Western New York Chapter of the New York State Alliance For Retired Americans (NYSARA) in Order to Provide Union Retirees With a Variety of Labor News and Information They Need and Just Won’t Find Anywhere Else.

The Western New York Chapter of the New York Alliance For Retired Americans Serves as the Base for Providing Union Retirees a Voice that Can Be Heard.

Stephen Muscarella is NYSARA’s President Here in Western New York and Also Serves as President of the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF).

For More Information on the Western New York Chapter of the New York State Alliance For Retired Americans and How You Can Get Involved, Contact Stephen Muscarella Directly Via E-Mail at

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Union Retiree News From The Alliance For Retired Americans: Social Security Benefits Likely To Be Paid On Time Even If There Is A Shutdown

Also: Human Chain Event To Take Place On Thursday At The U.S. Capitol, Debt Ceiling: A Threat To Social Security And Medicare & U.S. Representative Linda Sanchez’s Social Security Legislation Already Has 30 Co-Sponsors

Published Monday, September 30, 2013 10:00 am
by Alliance For Retired Americans

Social Security Benefits Likely To Be Paid On Time Even If There Is A Shutdown

According to CNN, in the Event of a Shutdown, It's Very Likely the Nearly 58 million People Who Receive Social Security Benefits Would Still Be Paid On Time.  The Money Used to Fund Social Security Benefits is Automatically Authorized and Not Dependent On Congress Coming to a Compromise on a New Federal Spending Measure by Monday (September 30th) Night. However, What Isn't Automatically Authorized is the Money that Congress Appropriates Every Year to Run the Social Security Administration and Pay Its Employees to Process those Benefits.  During the Last Two Government Shutdowns in the mid-1990s, Social Security Checks were Sent Out On Schedule.  That Happened Even Though the Social Security Administration was Grossly Understaffed during the First - and Shorter - of the Two Shutdowns.  It Had Kept On Just Under 5,000 Employees. Once it Realized How Many More Were Needed to Carry Out Essential Duties, the Agency was Quick to Staff Up.  By the Second Shutdown, which Lasted 21 Days, the Agency Required the Majority of its Employees (55,992) to Keep Coming to Work, Furloughing just 10,203 Workers.  “Applicants for New Benefits would be in Much Greater Danger of Facing Delays than Current Beneficiaries Would,” Alliance For Retired Americans Secretary-Treasurer Ruben Burks said.


Human Chain Event To Take Place On Thursday, October 3rd At The U.S. Capitol

The Congressional Progressive Caucus Plans to Host a Human Chain Press Conference in Opposition to the Chained CPI on Thursday (October 3rd) at the House Triangle.  This Human Chain Event Follows the Success of Nationwide Human Chain Events Organized by the Alliance for Retired Americans in Conjunction with our Coalition Partners back on July 2nd (2013).  Those Events Took Place in More Than 50 Cities with Support from the Labor Movement, Social Security Works and other Allies.  More than 20 Members of Congress have Agreed To Participate on October 3rd.  Regardless of Where You Are, Join the Event Remotely and Share It with Your Friends and Allies Via this Facebook event:  “Activists are Going to be Heard at the Right Time – While Budget Issues are ‘Red Hot,’” Alliance President Barbara Easterling said.


Debt Ceiling: A Threat To Social Security And Medicare

While a Relatively Short Shutdown May Not Imperil Social Security Beneficiaries, the Failure by Lawmakers to Raise the Nation's Borrowing Limit Could.  “The Biggest Risk to Social Security Payments is the Debt Ceiling,” said Charles Konigsberg, who was Assistant Director of the White House Budget Office During the Last Shutdown.  If the Ceiling Isn't Raised, the Treasury Department will Eventually Run Short of Funds to Pay All its bills. The Debt Limit will be Reached “No Later than October Seventeenth,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew Wrote to House Speaker John Boehner Last Week.  According to Bloomberg News, Senate Republicans have a Strategy for Lifting the U.S. Borrowing Limit: Offer What President Barack Obama Asked For In His Budget, Then Dare Him to Refuse.  Republicans Would Be Willing to Replace Some of the $1.2 trillion in Automatic Spending Cuts to Domestic and Military Programs over the Next Nine Years in Exchange for Cuts to Social Security and Medicare, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (Republican-Texas) said.  In July, the House Ways and Means Committee - which Oversees Tax Policy - Released Drafts that include the Chained CPI Formula to Cut Social Security Benefits, along with Reducing Payments to Hospitals and Other Providers Under Medicare.  The Ideas were Borrowed from President Obama’s Fiscal 2014 Budget and Proposals Put Forward by his 2010 Deficit-Reduction Commission.  By Contrast, in Their Budget Plans, Republicans Advocated Converting Medicare to a Voucher Program and Changing Medicaid to a State-Based Block-Grant System.


U.S. Representative Linda Sanchez’s Social Security Legislation Already Has 30 Co-Sponsors

For a List of Current Co-Sponsors of H.R. 3118, the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013 Introduced by U.S. Representative Linda Sanchez, (Democrat-California), go to  Instead of Offering a Cold, Calculated Benefit Cut like the Chained CPI, this Legislation Would Actually Increase Annual Social Security Benefits by An Average of $800.  “By using a Cost-of-Living Formula like the CPI-E that More Accurately Reflects the Expenses of Social Security Beneficiaries, and by Raising the Cap on Taxable Income so that the Wealthiest Americans Pay Their Fair Share Towards Social Security, we can Extend the Life of the Social Security Trust Fund and Provide Better Benefits to Americans who Worked Hard Their Entire Lives,” Alliance Executive Director Edward Coyle said.


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