Senate Committee on Aging Update

Senate Committee on Aging Update

I serve on the Senate Committee on Aging, a special committee focused on policies relating to older Americans. We’ve been hard at work over the last several months and I wanted to take this opportunity to give you an update on the issues that impact Arkansas’s seniors.

You may remember from my last update that the committee is particularly focused on scams targeting the senior community.

Earlier this year, we held a hearing examining ways to prevent drug traffickers from tricking seniors into doing their bidding and smuggling drugs.

Following the hearing, I joined several other members of the committee in asking Secretary of State Kerry to provide assistance from the State Department to seniors who have fallen victim to a drug smuggling scam. Following our letter, the State Department intervened in the case of a retired pastor from Maine and J. Bryon Martin was released from a Spanish prison after nearly a year.

Recently, the committee also looked at new ways to promote financial security and stability in the senior community. During this hearing, I discussed the American Savings Promotion Act, a law I passed when I served in the House of Representatives. The American Savings Promotion Act allowed states to offer savings promotion raffles, or prizelinked savings accounts, to encourage people to open savings accounts. I was pleased to hear from Brian Plum, a bank executive and witness at the hearing, that this legislation is an important tool in efforts to promote financial solvency among seniors.

Finally, I was pleased to support and help pass a bill in the Senate designating June 15, 2016 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. While a small gesture, this resolution can help bring awareness to the fact that nationwide it is estimated that one in every ten adults over sixty fall victim to some sort of abuse, neglect or exploitation. I am hopeful that this resolution will help bring attention to this important issue. And help put a stop to this crime.

As always, I want to hear from you about issues affecting you. Please be sure and contact my office with any questions or concerns or to simply express your opinion. As a reminder, my offices in Arkansas stand ready and able to assist casework problems that you may have—such as filing a claim with the VA or the Social Security Administration. You can find contact information and stay up-to-date on the happenings of the Senate and the Senate Committee on Aging by visiting my website, or calling (202) 224-2353.

From U.S. Senator Tom Cotton