Congress is headed for a major showdown over federal spending before the end of the year.
And far too many Democrats and Republicans are part of a concerted push to put Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits on the chopping block.
Some senators, like Bernie Sanders and Tom Harkin, are on the record as standing strong. But others, like Sens. Feinstein and Boxer, have yet to publicly commit to protect our social safety net.
Negotiations are already happening and Congress only has a few weeks left in session. That’s why we’re working with our friends at MoveOn and other progressive organizations to get senators on the record about where they stand on benefit cuts.
Pick up the phone and ask Sens. Feinstein and Boxer: ”Do you oppose any benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid?”
Let’s be clear, there are any number of crises that demand urgent action by Congress — the foreclosure crisis, the unemployment crisis, the climate crisis to name just a few — but reducing the deficit isn’t one of them.
It’s true that without a new deal to decrease the deficit before the end of the year, we’ll see the automatic cuts and tax increases start going into effect in January.
But no deal is far better than a bad deal.
If we do nothing, the Bush tax cuts will expire and we’ll see automatic, in some cases brutal, cuts to government spending. But these cuts include significant reductions to defense spending while sparing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits (not to mention a host of programs that help the most vulnerable).
As painful as the status quo might be, it’s substantially better than the deals that have been floated thus far.
And it’s hard to imagine that President Obama and the Democrats could cut a better deal with Republicans in the next two weeks than what they could accomplish in the next Congress with more Democrats in the House and the Senate, the Bush tax cuts already expired and (quite possibly) filibuster reform that reduces the power of obstructionist Republicans.
We need to create a bulwark in the Senate to block any deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits.
Click the link below for contact information and a sample script.
Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets