Himes discusses Social Security with Darien seniors
"Social Security is just fine, for a while," he said, adding that changes should start taking effect in 2027.
"Social Security is going to look a little different for me," he said. "Not you."
Himes was continuing a tour he started in May of senior centers in Connecticut's Fourth District, which he represents, to celebrate Older Americans Month and discuss trending issues in Washington, D.C.
One of the issues included the budget plan Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin proposed in April, which would require the government to send vouchers to health insurance companies rather than Medicare beneficiaries. Himes said he disapproved of Ryan's plan.
"The reason I don't like that plan is that the value of the voucher will shrink relative to the cost of insurance," said Himes, also commending Ryan for his attempt to change Medicare.
Himes briefly spoke about Medicare and dedicated the rest of the discussion to recognizing the tough times the nation is facing.
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"I'm very aware that the Congress of the United States has an approval rating of 12 percent right now," he said. "And it makes me sad. This is a time to not have partisan bloody fights."
Himes spent the last 30 minutes listening to audience members voice their concerns on topics like the war on terror, funding FEMA and other government spending, job creation and taxes. He also sat down with several groups of seniors and discussed their concerns in further detail.
Vivian Hale, a Darien resident, sat down with him to discuss long-term Medicare regulations, illegal immigration and several other issues.
"I liked the chance to see him in person," Hale said. "I appreciated at least that he came here and gave an hour of his time. I would probably vote for him now that I met him and talked to him."
At the end of his speech, Himes said change would occur if enough Americans speak out about their concerns.
"So why don't they build?" asked Madeline Boccuzzi from the audience in the senior center dining room. She suggested it would help create jobs.
"This is something I do and will continue to fight for," Himes said.
She replied, "Me too."