As an advocate for families, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) has been a steadfast defender of Social Security. She knows survivor benefits epitomize the role that Social Security plays as an insurance program for all generations.
In 2005, Schakowsky’s son Ian lost his wife Fiona after a yearlong struggle with cancer. Their children, Eve and William, were very young at the time. "People just loved Fiona," Schakowsky said. "She was just fun to be with and thoughtful . . . a fabulous mother and a friend to many.”
“Social Security is a program not often seen as a family support, but I can tell you that the benefits my grandchildren get are very helpful to my family,” she said.
In 2010, Schakowsky was appointed to serve on President Obama’s 18-member National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. There, she joined other commission members in searching for solutions to the deficit and long-term solvency of Social Security. In her role on the committee, Schakowsky repeatedly championed the push to strengthen Social Security.
“Social Security is not in crisis,” she said. “It’s Trust Fund has a reserve of $2.5 trillion, which will grow to $4.3 trillion by the end of 2023. I believe that we need to make changes to Social Security to ensure it can pay full benefits and remain solvent over the next 75 years,” she said. “With relatively small changes, we can ensure that Social Security will be able to pay full benefits through the rest of this century.”
Congresswoman Schakowsky is dedicated to improving the program and ensuring that Social Security stays strong for today’s recipients and future generations. “Social Security is an insurance program funded and owned by American workers. Reducing benefits could plunge millions of middle class retirees into debt and put orphaned children at risk. I am committed to protecting Social Security because I wouldn’t want to imagine what it would be like without it.”
-Profile from Generations United’s Social Security: What’s at Stake for Children, Youth, and Grandfamilies.