Congressmen Wm. Lacy Clay (St. Louis) and Emanual Cleaver (Kansas City), both Democrats, have signed onto a letter urging Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and President Obama asking that any compromise package offered to reduce the deficit and raise the debt ceiling not put Medicare and Social Security benefits at risk.
“This is a time for shared sacrifice, not devastating cuts to seniors and our most vulnerable citizens,” Clay says. “If we’re serious about reducing the deficit and raising the debt ceiling in a responsible way, then we have to cut spending and increase revenue…especially from those wealthy individuals and corporations who have accumulated great wealth while working families and seniors on fixed incomes have suffered great hardships.”
That means that basic Medicare and Social Security benefits must not be bargained away, he says.
Signatories include CPC Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva and Keith Ellison, along with Reps. Baca, Karen Bass, Bordallo, Brown, Carson, Christiansen, Chu, Yvette Clarke, Hansen Clarke, Clay, Cleaver, Cohen, Conyers, Critz, Cummings, Danny Davis, DeFazio, DeLauro, Deutch, Doggett, Edwards, Farr, Fattah, Filner, Frank, Fudge, Garamendi, Al Green, Gutierrez, Hahn, Hinchey, Hirono, Holmes Norton, Holt, Jesse Jackson Jr., Sheila Jackson Lee, Hank Johnson, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Kaptur, Kildee, Kucinich, Barbara Lee, John Lewis, Lofgren, Lynch, Maloney, Markey, McCollum, McDermott, McGovern, Moore, Nadler, Napolitano, Oliver, Pallone, Payne, Pingree, Rangel, Reyes, Richardson, Richmond, Rothman, Roybal-Allard, Tim Ryan, Sablan, Schakowsky, Serrano, Stark, Sutton, Bennie Thompson, Tierney, Tonko, Towns, Waters, Waxman, Frederica Wilson, Woolsey, and Wu.
Clay’s spokesman says it’s not known yet if Carnahan has or will sign onto the letter.
The letter tells Pelosi, “On July 7, you made very clear that ‘We are not going to balance the budget on the backs of America’s seniors, women and people with disabilities’ and that we do not support cuts in benefits” for vital safety-net programs. We agree completely.'”