Retiree Groups Web Site Offers
Way to Contact Congressional
Dec. 8, 2003) The National
Retirees Legislative Network (NRLN) has announced a bipartisan,
grassroots letter writing campaign directed at elected officials in
Congress who voted for passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug and
Modernization Act. The NRLN is a Washington-based grassroots
coalition of retiree and older worker organizations dedicated to
protecting the pension and health benefits of their members.
Last summer, when we
went on record opposing this legislation, we made known our
intentions to work to defeat any member of Congress who supported
this flawed bill, NRLN president Jim Norby explained. With the
bills passage, we intend to deliver on that promise, Norby said.
Retirees and other older
Americans can learn how their elected representatives in Congress
voted on the Medicare measure by logging onto the NRLNs Web site (www.nrln.org)
and entering their zip code under the Write to Congress heading.
The link will automatically provide:
photographs, background information and voting record of each U.S.
senator and House of Representative member from the zip code area.
e-mail addresses for both their Washington and district offices.
voted on the Medicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act and
other key legislation affecting retirees and older Americans.
members PAC contributions.
The Web site also
provides easy access to local newspapers and other news media by zip
code, making it easy for retirees and older Americans to voice their
views in a Letter to the Editor, or other editorial forum, Norby
In a letter to his own
House of Representative member, Rep. Mary Bono of California, Norby
wrote, In my view,
as well as the view of several million other retirees, you have done
your constituency a grave injustice. Only time will tell how really
bad that legislation is. We have sent you volumes of material. You
have received letters, e-mails, and telephone calls from retirees who
oppose this Bill. You have seen fit, however, to follow the money
path and not the voters you supposedly represent.
This is to file notice with you that not only will I not vote for you
for public office ever again, but that I will work actively to bring
about your defeat.
Medicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act
opens the door for every company in the country to terminate its
retiree prescription drug program, shifting the cost to U.S.
taxpayers, according to Norby. By cutting billions of dollars in
their retiree benefit costs, employers will be able to inflate and
distort reporting of corporate profitability, leading to undeserved
cash bonuses and rejuvenated stock options for top executives at the
expense of retirees, Norby said.
The NRLN president invited
AARP members angered over that organizations endorsement of the
Medicare measure to join his organizations efforts against what Norby
calls legislative malpractice.
In a survey of AARP
members commissioned by the AFL-CIO, only 18 percent were in favor of
Congress passing the Medicare package. We would encourage the
majority of members who feel as we do and oppose that legislation to
resign their membership and join NRLN, which unlike AARP does not
stand to benefit financially from selling prescription-drug policies
to seniors under this legislation, Norby added.
Based in Washington, D.C.,
NRLN represents nearly 2 million retirees from Association of US WEST
Retirees, Association of BellTel Retirees, Association of Prudential
Retirees, Monsanto Retirees Association, along with groups from
Boeing, GE, GM, IBM, Johns Manville, Lucent, AT&T, Portland Electric
(Enron), SNET, Western Union, Raytheon, Continental Tire and others.
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