As negotiations in Washington continue over tax rates and spending levels, Working America members aren’t sitting out. In the past few days, our members have written and called their legislators and held events around the country to tell their Senators and members of Congress to oppose bad deals and look out for working people.
Yesterday, two groups of Working America members visited the offices of Sens. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Kay Hagan of North Carolina to make their voices heard. A protest was also held Tuesday in Washington.
There are two principles these members say are critical to any deal:
- The end of the Bush tax cuts on income over $250,000, which would
only affect the top 2 percent
- No cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits
That we’re even talking about cuts to Social Security or Medicare is silly, since the actual problem the negotiations should be solving is the expiration of current tax rates and credits for middle-class families, the expiration of extended unemployment benefits and a set of spending cuts that resulted from the (manufactured) 2011 debt-ceiling crisis.
In Pittsburgh, members presented Casey’s staff with a Christmas wish list, asking that Casey be a leader in protecting benefits.
Florence Price-Harrell, a Working America member from North Carolina, spoke about the importance of fighting against benefit cuts at an event outside of Sen. Hagan’s office:
If Medicare was cut, it would be devastating to many seniors. They would have to pay out-of pocket for doctor’s visit and medications, which would be catastrophic. Many seniors would have to decide between getting gas and food or their medication…If anything, we should expand Medicare rather than discuss cutting it.
Want to tell your members of Congress how you feel? Click here.
We’ll be watching closely to see where legislators stand—whether they call for cuts and carry out stunts like Speaker Boehner’s “Plan B,” or whether they get serious about listening to their constituents.