Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Oppose Deficit Deal8/1/11
Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva and Rep. Keith Ellison, Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), released the following statement in advance of today’s vote in the House of Representatives:
While voting to increase the debt ceiling is a necessary step, the deficit-reduction measures included in this deal will further harm our economy and hurt working Americans. With unemployment still above 9% and stagnating economic growth, taking money out of the economy will only place a heavier burden on working families.
This is the wrong approach for our economy at the wrong time, and it goes against our basic values. For that reason, we and many of our members will be voting no.
Progressives are committed to prosperity for the middle class, and we believe that reasonable deficit reduction can be achieved while advancing our values. But today’s deficit-reduction deal falls short. Republicans have sought to dismantle basic services for average Americans while spending more to support millionaires and corporations.
Tea Party Republicans have held our economy hostage to those demands, but deficit reduction should not be enacted in a hostage situation. We have long said default on the full faith and credit of the United States is unacceptable. If this bill is defeated, we urge the President to use his 14th amendment powers to raise the debt ceiling and avoid default.
We will continue to fight for programs that help working families. During recent weeks the Congressional Progressive Caucus stood with millions of people across the country to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from being cut in the deal being voted on today.
But preventing the worst from happening is not enough. Americans will not stand by while their livelihood comes under attack. We can structure our economy in a way that benefits everybody—not just special interests, and not just the extremely wealthy. We can articulate a vision for the country not based on what America can’t achieve—but what it can. That is the type of leadership Americans expect.