Rep. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) has “one of the worst records in Congress” when it comes to Social Security and other issues that matter to retired Americans, says Jon “Bowzer” Bauman, president of Social Security Works PAC.
Bauman, a former Sha Na Na star who is now a leading advocate to protect and expand Social Security, attended an event at Vincenzo’s Pizza in Newhall to endorse Knight’s opponent, Katie Hill.
But before he endorsed Hill, he explained in no uncertain terms why Knight would not be getting his endorsement.
Every year, Bauman pointed out, the Alliance for Retired Americans puts out a scorecard to help retired Americans understand how well (or poorly) their member of Congress votes on the issues that affect them.
The scorecard evaluates members of Congress on their willingness to stand up to attacks on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as other crucial programs like the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
In the group’s latest scorecard, Knight scored zero percent.
In all of California, 37 representatives scored 90 percent or higher. Knight was one of only 11 California members of Congress who scored zero.
At this point, Bauman started dancing and doing the limbo, encouraging the audience to join him in chanting, “How low can you go?”
He then dramatically addressed Knight, who was not in attendance: “Steve, you cannot go any lower than zero!”
Hill also spoke about why it’s so important to protect core earned benefits programs.
“We need to be fighting every single day to expand Social Security, to protect what we’ve got, to protect Medicare, to expand Medicare, to expand Medicaid,” Hill said. “And someone like Steve Knight is doing everything that he can to undermine it.”
Knight’s poor rating on retirement issues is not particularly surprising, given his past statements about Social Security.
“I think that Social Security was a bad idea. I do,” Knight said in 2016. “I absolutely think it was a bad idea.”
One of the votes cited by the Alliance for Retired Americans was a bill to repeal the ACA. While such a bill would have had broad repercussions for millions of Americans, it would have also hurt Americans who are at or near retirement age.
According to the Alliance for Retired Americans, the bill would “reduce the solvency of the Medicare trust fund by 3 years, cut Medicaid by $834 billion by capping payments to states and raise premiums for 50 to 64 years old from $1,700 to $16,100.”
Knight voted for the bill, despite the devastating impact it would have on his older constituents.
“We have to get older people — and there are plenty in this district — to understand that they are voting against their own self-interest when they are voting for Steve Knight,” Bauman said.