Cicilline to Leader Pelosi: Protect Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid Benefits

Jul 15, 2011 Issues: Fiscal Responsibility, Health Care, Seniors

WASHINGTON, DC– U.S. Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) joined nearly 70 of his colleagues today in a letter to Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi expressing support for her strong advocacy during recent debt ceiling negotiations to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits as discussions continue into another weekend regarding our nation’s spending.

In their letter, Members support Pelosi’s stalwart defense of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as debt crisis negotiations test the future of these programs.

Members wrote, “Especially in these tough economic times, we should not be cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits that millions of our constituents paid into and depend on. Such benefit cuts should be off the table in current debt discussions…We are united as Democrats in saying that it’s time to stand up to the Republican hostage-taking…We stand united with you in insisting that benefit cuts for working families, our seniors, children, and people with disabilities must be off the table, and we stand united with you in fighting for millions of Americans who need Democrats to be firmly on their side.”

The full text of their letter is below:

Leader Pelosi,

We write in strong agreement with your unwavering defense of the Democratic programs that form the bedrock of America’s middle and working classes, and which are overwhelmingly popular.

On July 7, you made very clear that “We are not going to balance the budget on the backs of America’s seniors, women and people with disabilities” and that “we do not support cuts in benefits” for vital safety-net programs. We agree completely.

Especially in these tough economic times, we should not be cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits that millions of our constituents paid into and depend on. Such benefit cuts should be off the table in current debt discussions.

Our Republican colleagues should be embarrassed by their insistence that unless Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits are cut, the nation will default on its debts. Middle-class families have sacrificed enough, and a deal that pushes the American Dream further out of reach, in order to pay for extending tax breaks for the rich and corporations, is simply unacceptable.

We are united as Democrats in saying that it’s time to stand up to the Republican hostage-taking. We will not be forced to vote for a “final agreement” that we do not agree to -- and that the American people do not agree to.

We stand united with you in insisting that benefit cuts for working families, our seniors, children, and people with disabilities must be off the table, and we stand united with you in fighting for millions of Americans who need Democrats to be firmly on their side.

Sincerely,

Members of Congress

At the time of release, the following Members of Congress have signed onto this letter to Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi:

 

Keith Ellison

Raul Grijalva

David Cicilline

Sam Farr

Marcia Fudge

Carolyn Maloney

Pete Stark

John Conyers

Chellie Pingree

Jim McDermott

Bennie Thompson

Hank Johnson

Barbara Lee

Corrine Brown

Marcy Kaptur

Jan Schakowsky

Jose Serrano

Charlie Rangel

Lynn Woolsey

Jesse Jackson Jr.

Barney Frank

Luis Gutierrez

James McGovern

John Lewis

David Wu

Maxine Waters

Donna Edwards

Bob Filner

Judy Chu

Donald Payne

Peter DeFazio

Steve Rothman

Steve Cohen

Danny Davis

Donna Christiansen

Laura Richardson

Tim Ryan

Frank Pallone

Yvette Clarke

Lloyd Doggett

John Tierney

Lucille Roybal- Allard

Jerrald Nadler

Joe Baca

Andre Carson

Eli Cummings

Mark Critz

Maurice Hinchey

Rosa DeLauro

Silvestre Reyes

Betty Sutton

Eleanor Holmes Norton

Dennis Kucinich

Rush Holt

Zoe Lofgren

John Garamendi

Henry Waxman

Ed Markey

Shelia JacksonLee

Emanuel Cleaver

Grace Napolitano

MadelineBordallo

Paul Tonko

Mazie Hirono

Betty McCollum

John W. Olver

Chaka Fattah

Al Green