Washington's conservative consensus goes beyond the partisan divide. It's part of the fabric of Beltway politics and it may be a lot worse if Romney and a bunch of Republicans win in November and somewhat less worse if Obama and a bunch of Democrats win in November but... it's not a progressive consensus, it's a conservative consensus. And if Obama and Boehner are planning to foist it on America after the elections-- but before the new Congress takes its seats in November-- you've got to know who's being cut out of the bargain, no matter how grand it is: working families.
That said, Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs Raśl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) have asked their colleagues in the caucus to sign on as cosponsors to a Resolution that expresses "the sense of Congress that any deal replacing the 'Budget Control Act of 2011' must contain
serious revenue increases and no Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefit cuts. Each member of the caucus got a note from Grijalva and Ellison asking them to sign up and explaining why they have to move now.
With the start of sequestration and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts coming at the end of the year, we are already beginning to hear discussion of another attempt at a ?grand bargain.? Unfortunately, the debate has focused on just how far we are willing to go in making deep cuts to government spending.
These debates have already placed Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security at risk. Democrats must insert themselves into the national debate and push back against cuts to these much needed social programs, which are overwhelmingly supported by Americans. In addition, we must show there is a block of votes that will stand against a deal that doesn?t include serious revenue increases to prevent drastic cuts to programs that middle class families and those who aspire to the middle class rely on.
We invite you to join us in cosponsoring a resolution that sets out our requirements for any deal on taxes and spending replacing the Budget Control Act. This resolution firmly states that we will not accept a bargain from Congressional Republicans that balances the budget or reduces the deficit on the backs of working families. In addition, this resolution declares the necessity of reduced defense spending to focus on modern threats and increased economic growth through strong levels of job-creating federal investments.
Expressing the sense of Congress that any deal replacing the ?Budget Control Act of 2011? must contain serious revenue increases and no Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefit cuts.
Whereas the start of sequestration under the ?Budget Control Act of 2011? and the expiration of the tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush may lead to a deal on taxes and spending;
Whereas Medicare is a cornerstone of the American health care system and a vital part of life for more than 40 million American seniors and more than 8 million Americans with disabilities;
Whereas Medicaid provides health and long-term care services for low-income and middle-class families with family members stricken with catastrophic illness, injury, or disability, or facing prolonged infirmity;
Whereas Social Security provides vital protections for people of all ages in 1 of every 4 families, including 36 million retired workers, 8.6 million disabled workers, 6.3 million survivors of deceased workers, and 6.5 million children, and since it has $2.7 trillion in accumulated assets and no borrowing authority, does not contribute to the Federal budget deficit;
Whereas unemployment levels are still unacceptably high and federal investments in areas such as
infrastructure, education, research, nutrition, housing, and services struggling Americans depend on grow the economy and create jobs;
Whereas extending the tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush would increase the deficit by $3.3 trillion over ten years;
Whereas long-term unsustainable deficits pose a threat to the social safety net;
Whereas defense spending, not counting two off-budget wars, has doubled over the last decade, failing to responsibly reduce our national debt by cutting outdated defense programs and by addressing billions of dollars lost to waste, fraud, and abuse;
Whereas the unbalanced ?Bowles-Simpson? proposal contains unacceptable cuts of $402 billion from Medicare and Medicaid over ten years, and substantial Social Security cuts for current and future beneficiaries; and
Whereas working and middle class Americans have been working harder and harder for less and less: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that any deal on taxes and spending to replace the Budget Control Act--
(1) must not cut Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits;
(2) must contain serious revenue increases, including closing corporate tax loopholes and increasing individual income tax rates for the highest earners;
(3) must significantly reduce defense spending to focus our armed forces on combating 21st century risks; and
(4) must promote economic growth and expand economic opportunity by including strong levels of job-creating federal investments in areas such as infrastructure and education, and by promoting private investment.