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Forty-One Progressive Members Of Congress Urge Direct Involvement Of The People's Budget In Deficit Talks

For Immediate Release

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Contact:  

Adam Sarvana, Rep. Grijalva (202) 225- 5445

Tim Schumann, Rep. Ellison (202) 225-4755

Washington, D.C. –Forty-one Members of Congress signed a letter to President Barack Obama today urging him to include the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) leadership in ongoing bipartisan budget negotiations.  The CPC People’s Budget proposal is the only budget introduced that eliminates the deficit and generates a surplus by 2021. By contrast, the House Republican budget increases the deficit by $6 trillion in the same timeframe, and adds more than $1 trillion in tax breaks for millionaires and corporate special interests.

Over the past several weeks, the People's Budget has received praise from economists and financial experts across the political spectrum. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman called it “genuinely courageous,” and noted that it "achieves this without dismantling the legacy of the New Deal." The Washington Post writes,“The Congressional Progressive Caucus plan wins the fiscal responsibility derby thus far.” Economist Jeffrey Sachs labeled it “A bolt of hope…humane, responsible, and most of all sensible.” The conservative Economist magazine dubbed it “the courageous Progressive Caucus budget.” A coalition of think tanks also recently rated it the most responsible budget introduced.

 

“The decisions that will be made in this Congress will have a profound and lasting impact on the future of our country and the American people,” the letter reads. “That is why we believe that the most fiscally responsible policy proposals, with the broadest support from the American people, must have a seat at the table.”

 

As the President and both chambers of Congress sit down to discuss our nation’s future fiscal solvency, it is essential that the People's Budget– a budget that is both fiscally and morally responsible– is part of the conversation. 

 

 

Full Text of the Letter:

 

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

There is bipartisan consensus that we must correct our country's fiscal trajectory in order to build an economy that works for all Americans.  It is time for lawmakers to take action on the deficit and exhibit the political courage necessary to accomplish this tremendous task.  As part of the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ (CPC) larger effort to construct a practical economic platform for America, we write to request that CPC leaders be included in the current bipartisan talks to negotiate a comprehensive deficit reduction package, as well as future discussions regarding our nations’ fiscal solvency.  

We believe that outlining clear policy objectives is the only way to frame a serious debate about these issues.  “Triggers," "caps", and other process-related budgetary gimmicks serve only to distract attention from the concrete policy ideas needed to solve the problems we face.  

The Congressional Progressive Caucus has put forth the People’s Budget, a plan rooted in principles shared by the majority of the Americans: Invest in education, infrastructure and transportation, protect the social safety net and create a fair tax system.  The People’s Budget eliminates our deficit and gets our national debt under control by putting America back to work and ensuring that everyone pays their fair share.  The CPC budget cuts $5.6 trillion from the deficit over ten years, produces a budget surplus, and reduces debt to below 65% of GDP. Compare this with the Republican budget proposal, which increases the deficit by $6 trillion over the next decade, hardly a serious commitment to fiscal responsibility.     

The decisions that will be made in this Congress will have a profound and lasting impact on the future of our country and the American people.  That is why we believe that the most fiscally responsible policy proposals, with the broadest support from the American people, must have a seat at the table.  Those proposals are represented in the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ People’s Budget.  

We have an obligation to put the American dream back within reach for the majority of Americans, and we look forward to working with you, Mr. President, to achieve that goal.

Sincerely,

 

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