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Pennsylvania Voters Deserve to Know the Real Sestak Record

For Immediate Release

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Pennsylvania Voters Deserve to Know the Real Sestak Record

Glaring holes in Sestak’s record expose his willingness to cut Medicare and Social Security as congressman. What would he do as senator?

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With just a few short weeks until the April 26 Democratic primary for Senate, EMILY’s List is calling out Democrat Joe Sestak for his willingness to put Medicare and Social Security on the table.

In the House of Representatives, Congressman Sestak joined the Tea Party to support a budget plan that would put Medicare and Social Security at risk, a move that would impact millions of Pennsylvania women and seniors.

“Congressman Sestak has made it perfectly clear that he is willing to bargain away Medicare and Social Security behind closed doors. In joining with the Tea Party, Congressman Sestak abandoned Pennsylvania values and never got them back,” said Marcy Stech, communications director at EMILY’s List. “Sen. Toomey and Tea Party Republicans continue their plan to balance the budget on the backs of women and seniors – how can Pennsylvania voters trust Sestak to stand up for them as a senator if he couldn’t even do that as a congressman?”

In Pennsylvania, over five million people benefit from Medicare and Social Security, including over two million women.

Sestak Backed National Debt Commission Plan for Social Security and Medicare. “Sestak, while still in Congress last December, called on Obama to embrace the recommendations of the bipartisan Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to achieve nearly $4 trillion in deficit reduction through spending cuts, health care cost containment and elimination of tax loopholes. Obama should have used the ‘power of his bully pulpit’ at that time to sway public sentiment and compel a debt-level increase and long-term budgetary reform long before the Tuesday deadline, Sestak said.  ‘It's better to be the quarterback who comes out of the huddle to the line of scrimmage at the beginning of the game and not wait until the fourth quarter to enter it, because people in the stands right now are restless. They're upset. They're concerned and they're looking for strong leadership and politics be damned,’ Sestak said.” [Standard-Speaker, 7/31/11]

Sestak Said National Debt Commission Was Template for Proper Reform of Entitlements. “…That’s why those who have courage should stand up, and look at, the national debt commission, as the template upon which you can address both the needed raise in revenues and the proper reform of entitlements.” [PA Press Club, 29:50 1/25/16]

Sestak: “We Have to Structurally Address Entitlement Programs.” “Yes, we have to cut waste. And yes, we have to structurally address our entitlement programs.” [Commonwealth Club, 6/21/10]

  • Plan Would Cut Social Security Benefits. “The plan would reduce cost-of-living increases for all federal programs, including Social Security. It would reduce projected Social Security benefits to most retirees in later decades […] The retirement age for full benefits would be slowly raised to 69 from 67 by 2075.” [New York Times, 11/10/10]
  • Plan Would Cut Medicare Benefits. “The plan calls for discretionary spending to be cut by $1.4 trillion over 10 years, while mandatory spending – including Social Security, Medicare for the elderly […] John Rother, executive vice president for policy at the senior citizens’ group AARP, said his group would oppose the plan because it would be ‘dramatically lowering benefits over time’ in Social Security and Medicare.” [Bloomberg, 11/11/10]
  • Plan Would Increase Out-Of-Pocket Spending for Medicare Recipients. The national debt commission plan called “for increasing the amounts that elderly and disabled Medicare beneficiaries must pay for health care services (presumably through higher co-payments)…” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2/17/11]

Tea Party Republican Sen. Rand Paul Said Plan Had “Some Good Ideas.” [The Hill, 11/12/10]

Tea Party Republican Rep. Howard Coble Voted for Amendment Stating Simpson-Bowles Should be Budget Framework. [HR 444, Vote #36, 2/06/13; House Tea Party Caucus, 12/12/12]

Tea Party Republican Rep. Steve King Praised Simpson-Bowles for “Bold and Hard Proposals.” “There were some bold and hard proposals that were put into Simpson Bowles. I give them credit for taking that kind of a stand.” [C-SPAN, 3/16/11; House Tea Party Caucus, 12/12/12]


EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $400 million to support pro-choice Democratic women candidates – making it one of the most successful political organizations ever. We recruit and train candidates, support strong campaigns, research women's issues, and turn out women voters. We've trained over 9,000 women to run and helped elect over 100 women to the House, 19 to the Senate, 11 governors, and over 700 to state and local office. Since its founding in 1985, almost one-third of the candidates EMILY’s List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color - including every single Latina, African American, and Asian American Democratic congresswoman currently serving.