News & Politics

Elizabeth Warren Hammers Republicans for Their Cruel Indifference to Retirees

A third of Americans have no savings of any kind, and the GOP-led Congress refuses to act.

Photo Credit: Senator Elizabeth Warren / YouTube

Nearly a month after introducing a "Retirement Rip-Off Counter" on federal buildings in Washington, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) delivered a fiery floor speech to President Trump on behalf of the growing number of Americans forced to work up until the day they die. 

"Mr. President, we have a retirement crisis in this country today among working families on the verge of retirement," Warren announced on Wednesday. "About one-third have no retirement savings of any kind, and another third have savings that are less than one year's annual income."

According to Warren, a big reason people hit retirement age with no savings is "the Republican-controlled Congress has done nothing to help the 55 million Americans who don't have an employer-provided retirement plan save for their retirement."


As a result, "seven states have actually stepped up [and] passed legislation to provide retirement accounts to their constituents and 23 more states are currently considering proposals like this," Warren noted, citing her home state of Massachusetts which has "stepped up to pass legislation allowing workers and small nonprofit organizations to save for retirement in a state-administered plan."

But this week's rollback by Congress is set to severely impact these savings accounts, by repealing the Obama administration's exemption of state-run IRA plans from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). 

"Republicans are constantly saying that they are the party of federalism, deregulation, state flexibility, over and over again," explained Warren. "For the past several months my colleagues across the aisle have come down to the floor to overturn regulation after regulation, because they claim that those regulations 'limit the role of state and local governments,' so why on earth are they now passing a bill to run roughshod over the states?"


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Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.