146 National Groups Outline Priorities on Budget
Orgs Call for Job Creation, Saving the Safety Net, Stopping Sequestration, and Adding New Revenue from Corporations and Wealthiest Earners
Washington, D.C. –– As our nation approaches the so-called “fiscal cliff,” 146 national organizations are calling on President Obama and Congress to work together to prioritize job creation, oppose benefit cuts to social insurance programs, protect the safety net and require corporations and wealthy individuals to pay their fair share.
In a letter sent Friday to President Obama and congressional leaders of both chambers, the organizations representing working people, people of color, low-income communities, women, people with disabilities, faith communities, and good government advocates set out five urgent priorities that should be part of any budget agreement.
- The letter outlining these concerns and a full list of signatories are below this statement.
- The groups have also highlighted their priorities in a full-page ad Thursday in The Washington Post.
The joint letter states:
As you work to craft a resolution to these economic and fiscal challenges, we urge you to embrace the call of the American people to focus on job creation and avoid any actions that would cost jobs, oppose benefit cuts for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, protect our nation’s safety net, and oppose any extension of the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2 percent of Americans.
And continues: Given the current state of the economy, we have serious concerns that many of the proposals under consideration would require substantial reductions in federal investments, removing even more money from the economy and burdening many of the same working families that have already borne the brunt of our nation’s deficit reduction efforts.
Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said, "After bearing the brunt of the recession, our communities – working people, low-income communities, women, seniors, people with disabilities and people of color – are demanding a fair deal, not a raw deal. That means creating jobs and opportunity, not cutting the safety net or Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and asking the wealthiest Americans and corporations to pay their fair share. Nothing less will do.”
AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka said, “On Tuesday the American people said ‘no’ to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefit cuts and ‘no’ to another tax cut for the richest two percent. And we intend to make sure Congress listens."
Deepak Bhargava, executive director, Center for Community Change, said, "The fiscal cliff is really a showdown between jobs and austerity. What America needs right now are more jobs – quality jobs that pay living wages, guarantee the right to collectively bargain and organize, and are accessible to the people who are looking for work right now. Congress needs to reject austerity and invest in an economy that can deliver shared prosperity."