Rehberg tries to wipe out senior volunteers, claims he supports them anyway

Congressman led effort to ‘zero out’ Senior Volunteer Corps

BILLINGS, Mont. – Congressman Dennis Rehberg’s efforts to completely wipe out the Senior Corps didn’t stop him from today telling Montanans that he supports senior volunteer efforts.

In Helena, Rehberg took part in an event honoring hundreds of Montanans in the Retired and Volunteer Service Program, the Foster Grandparent Program and the Senior Companion Program—collectively known as the Senior Corps. The Montana Senior Corps organization is “a network of programs that tap the experience, skills, and talents of citizens, age 55+ to meet community needs.”

Rehberg this morning claimed that as chairman of the House funding committee that oversees the Senior Corps, it always gives him “a great deal of pleasure” to see the programs in action.

But as chairman, Rehberg last year tried to zero out funding for the volunteer programs in H.R. 1, an irresponsible funding bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Then a few months later, Rehberg proposed more massive cuts to the Senior Volunteer Corps, citing the need to cut “wasteful” programs and move funds “for programs that actually help people and families.”

According to one observer, “it made no sense to fire a half a million volunteers who unselfishly give millions of hours of their time to help tens of thousands of people in need. Thank goodness saner heads prevailed in the Senatewhere [Rehberg’s] bill failed.”

“As DC politicians do, Congressman Dennis Rehberg got caught trying to take credit for important initiatives he actually wants to get rid of,” said Aaron Murphy, a campaign spokesman for Jon Tester. “Jon couldn’t agree more in the need to cut wasteful spending, and he as a record of doing it. But cutting senior services in order to protecting tax loopholes for millionaires as Dennis Rehberg has done is as irresponsible as it gets.”

Tester is a consistent supporter of the Senior Corps.