September 15,2006

Baucus Comment on the Nomination of Michael J. Astrue as Commissioner of the Social Security Administration

Senator says Michael Astrue should focus on maintaining program’s critical services

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, issued the following statement today regarding the nomination of Michael J. Astrue to be Commissioner of the Social Security Administration:

“The country had a big debate last year about Social Security, and the American people made their views plain: they do not support the President’s proposals to privatize Social Security and to deeply cut benefits. As he moves through the nomination process, I hope that Michael Astrue will be responsive to the Americans he wishes to serve. He should commit to maintaining the critical role that the Social Security program currently plays in providing income security for retirees, disabled workers, survivors, and their families. He will also need a plan to speed and improve service to the public, particularly those applying for disability benefits.

“I look forward to learning more about Mr. Astrue and his views on managing the Social Security Administration.

“I will also add that Current Commissioner Jo Anne Barnhart has done a good job leading this important agency in difficult times. Her dedication and expertise will be missed when she leaves, and she has my appreciation for her service.”

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