Thursday, February 12, 2009

AARP Launches Government Watch Website to Hold Elected Leaders Accountable on Issues That Matter Most to Older Americans

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP today launched Government Watch, an interactive website designed to enable older Americans to hold accountable Congress and the Obama Administration on issues that matter most to them. Rolling out in conjunction with AARP's first designated "key vote" of the 111th Congress, Government Watch puts Members of Congress on notice that when they cast a vote on an issue important to Americans 50+, 80 million eyes will be watching.

After each key vote, AARP will notify its 40 million members and let them know how each Member of Congress voted, encouraging them to contact their Senators and Representatives to register their thanks or disappointment through email, phone calls and office visits. At the end of each congressional session, AARP will release a "Key Vote Summary," providing a one-stop summary of how Members of Congress voted on key legislation. In addition, AARP recognizes Members of Congress who champion legislation that benefits Americans 50+ through AARP's Congressional Award Program.

"Today's elected leaders must find solutions to unprecedented challenges, challenges that will require tough decisions and statesmanship," said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President. "From fixing our broken health care system to helping to restore financial stability for Americans in communities throughout our nation, Congress and the new Administration have a real opportunity to make better the lives of the millions of Boomers and older Americans. AARP's 40 million members are calling for action, and they want their government to do so in a transparent and accountable manner."

Government Watch features several tools to help keep the public informed. Among them are AARP's 2009 federal advocacy agenda; priority legislation; a congressional vote summary by state; Administration action on issues facing older Americans; fact sheets detailing the impact of AARP's legislative priorities on Americans 50+ in each state; and Congressional champions. Standout features include:

-- Eye on Congress: Government Watch's "Key Vote Summary" tracks how the
Senators and Representatives are voting on the issues critical to
Americans age 50+. It also provides members with a simple way to give
their elected officials feedback on his or her voting record.
-- Eye on the States: AARP has offices in all 50 states, as well as the
District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. For each
state, AARP has data that underscores why we need to: reform health
care; invest more in home and community based care; help struggling
homeowners stay in their homes while paying off debt; and provide all
Americans with a way to save for retirement at work.

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