Grijalva: I will not support it

When a crisis faces our nation, and decisions have to be made, we look to our elected officials to provide the guidance and direction that will help us persevere.  In the face of this manufactured debt ceiling crisis, many Members of Congress have failed to lead and are willing to substantially weaken many of the programs that make our nation great.

I will not support the emerging debt deal.

I will have no part of a deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to appease the farthest reaches of the right wing of the Republican Party.  It is unconscionable to put these programs on the chopping block and ignore the voices and beliefs of the millions of Americans who trust us to lead while continuing to give handouts to the ultra wealthy and the largest corporations.  There is no human decency in that.

Rather than fly the standard of the working Americans who voted them into office, some Members of Congress are content to raise the white flag and call it “bipartisanship” or a “grand bargain”.  Many elected officials yearn to be leaders, but this debt deal shows that too many of them settle for being politicians.

We Progressives have stood strong against the GOP’s shameless political maneuverings and disastrous ideas.  When the GOP introduced the Ryan Plan to cut taxes for the rich and kill Medicare while adding $6 trillion in new debt over the next decade, we stood strong against their irrational and irresponsible plans.  We offered another path and introduced the People’s Budget, a straightforward and realistic plan to address our nation’s short- and long-term economic needs without placing the burden on the backs of working Americans.  It would balance the budget by 2021, protect the social safety net, end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and importantly, put Americans back to work.

We have made our position clear for months: any deal must balance cuts and revenue. It is morally unjust to ask those Americans who are hurting the most in this recession to shoulder the burden of the GOP’s irresponsible fiscal policies. Today, Progressives and everyone we represent were thrown under the bus.  Rather than upholding the commitments made to our seniors and working families, this deal allows the wealthy and big corporations to keep their expensive federal handouts while cutting aid to the families who need it most.

My Progressive colleagues and I pressed Democratic leadership and the Obama administration to join us in opposing cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  To accept this deal is to weaken the credibility of the Democratic Party. If we do not stand up for working Americans now, who will be their voice?  If we do not stand up for working Americans now, will they ever trust us to again?

I reject this deal, and the American people reject this deal.  The only thing we have left to do is repair the damage the GOP has done to our nation as soon as possible.

Peace,

Raúl  Grijalva
co chair.  Progressive Caucus

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