by Andrew Mangione – As the end of the year draws near, we at AMAC are counting our many blessings for how our organization has grown, engaged and made an impact in 2013. From our outstanding membership surge to the strategic relationships we’ve formed in Washington, D.C., AMAC has exceeded new heights this year and has undeniably established itself as the nation’s preeminent conservative seniors organization. Leading the charge on the issues that matter most to mature Americans, AMAC has made significant strides as a proponent of smaller government, free markets and fiscal responsibility and continues to fight for the traditional values that have made America exceptional.
This year, AMAC has experienced tremendous membership growth – a sign, we feel, that our mission is resonating with mature Americans across the country. At the end of October, we surpassed our most impressive, rewarding milestone yet: 1 million active, dues-paying members in all 50 states! In just 11 months, AMAC doubled its membership and proved to Washington that we’re a dynamic force to be reckoned with.
In fact, the remarkable growth AMAC has seen this year has inspired and fueled our advocacy drive on Capitol Hill. The numbers of meetings held and bills supported speak to the major accomplishments of the year: AMAC met with 140 different Congressional offices and was solicited to support 29 pieces of legislation. Many in Congress now consider AMAC to be a highly valuable legislative resource and a faithful ally in the fight to make America a better place to live, work and retire. Lawmakers and staffers alike recognize AMAC to be a formidable organization that represents a very important demographic of Americans, and they are glad a viable alternative group has emerged to champion their interests.
Our advocacy efforts this year have been heavily focused on the solvency of Social Security and health care reform and are well documented by the legislation we’ve supported . Time and time again, our members have expressed their great concern for these issues, causing AMAC to explore the ways we can positively influence the policy discussions taking place at the highest level of government. As a result, much of AMAC’s advocacy energies have gone toward promoting commonsense, conservative reforms to both Social Security and the American health care system, which continues to undergo radical “government-first” changes because of ObamaCare.
Refusing to be a bystander in the political process, though, AMAC jumped in feet first. In 2013, AMAC proudly offered lawmakers innovative ideas and responsible solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems. AMAC developed the “Social Security Guarantee” to give Congress a framework for reform, and the ideas generated in AMAC’s 2012 health care workshops were even presented to the Republican Study Committee as additional support for the “American Health Care Reform Act.”
To maximize the voice of our members on the Hill and the policies they would like to see enacted, AMAC developed and nurtured key partnerships with Congressional committees and caucuses, as well as with prominent Washington think tanks. AMAC is in regular dialogue with the House GOP Doctors Caucus and the Republican Study Committee on health care-related issues, and our conversations with the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute and the National Center for Policy Analysis have strengthened our “Social Security Guarantee.”
We also increased AMAC’s visibility on Capitol Hill through two high profile Congressional receptions. The first event, held on Valentine’s Day, recognized lawmakers who have made the protection and preservation of Social Security a priority. These representatives received the “AMAC Guardian Award”. The second reception honored two legislators who have consistently demonstrated their advocacy for mature Americans throughout their long, distinguished careers. We were proud to bestow Representative Sam Johnson, (TX-03), and Senator Orrin Hatch, (R-UT), with our organization’s highest honor, the “AMAC Award” this past September.
This year hasn’t been just about what’s happening in Washington, though. Looking beyond the Beltway, the successful launch of the AMAC Delegate Program was one of the highlights of 2013. What started in February as a small-scale constituency initiative has transformed into a full-blown grassroots program. Our 200 delegates have done an incredible job representing AMAC at the State and Local levels. AMAC Delegates made 65 visits to Congressional district offices since May, and coordinated nine AMAC-members-only Town Hall events with Congressmen/women since August! AMAC delegates continue to go above and beyond the call of duty and their demonstration of patriotism is inspiring.
As AMAC continues to expand our brand and influence, our mission remains clear and our values stand unchanged. In anticipation of a busy second session of the 113th Congress, AMAC leadership is preparing to return to the Hill and is eager to interface with those in Congress. Certainly, there is still much work to be done – but thankfully, our members have been guiding and supporting us every step of the way. The success we’ve enjoyed in 2013 reinforces our unwavering commitment to building our membership and seeing that your interests and concerns are made known to our lawmakers. You can be confident that AMAC will continue to fight the good fight and work to keep America great!
Legislation Supported in 2013:
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), H.R. 7, “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”
Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Signed on to letter to protect Medicare Advantage
Sen. John Thune (R-SD), S. 1183, “Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013”
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), H.R. 2429, “Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013”
Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), H.R. 3121, “American Health Care Reform Act”
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), S. 1617, “If You Like Your Health Plan you Can Keep It Act”
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), H.R. 3350, “Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013”
Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), H.R. 2753, “Securing Care for Seniors Act”
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), S. 1497, “No Exemption from ObamaCare Act”
Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA), H.J. Res. 62, “Stability, Security and Fairness Resolution”
Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), H.R. 2775, “No Subsidies Without Verification Act”
Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA), H.R. 3090, “Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act”
Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX), H.R. 781, “Medicare Identity Theft Prevention Act of 2013”
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), S. 1270, “Secure Annuities for Employee (SAFE) Retirement Act of 2013”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), S. 1292, “Defund ObamaCare Act of 2013”
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), H.R. 2745, “No Social Security for Illegal Immigrants Act of 2013”
Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), H.R. 903, “American Job Protection Act”
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), H.R. 1473, “Standard of Care Protection Act”
Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA) & Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), H.R. 2453, “Medicare Beneficiary Preservation of Choice Act of 2013”
Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), H.R. 1404, “Medicaid Expansion Repeal and State Flexibility Act”
Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), H.R. 763, “To repeal the annual fee on health insurance providers enacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”
Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA), H.R. 2682, “Defund ObamaCare Act of 2013”
Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX), H.R. 1502, “The Social Security Disability Insurance and Unemployment Benefits Double Dip Elimination Act of 2013”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), S. 448, “Seniors’ Tax Simplification Act”
Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL), Sent letter in support of his position on the value of paperless statements issued by the Social Security Administration
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), H.R. “Letting Insurance Benefit Everyone Regardless of Their Youth (LIBERTY) Act”
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), S. 135, “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act”
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), H.R. 61, “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act”
Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), H.R. 38, “Seniors Tax Simplification Act of 2013”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), “Senior Citizens Payroll Tax Reduction Act of 2013”
Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), H.R. 351, “Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2013”