Dear President Biden:
I congratulate and support you on your decision to run for re-election. The legislation and policies you have implemented are already strengthening the country economically, environmentally, and morally.
However, the extremist MAGA Republicans controlling the House of Representatives are threatening to dismantle the progress that you and the Democratic-led Congress of 2021-22 have accomplished. If they don’t get their way, they’re willing to destroy the U.S. and global economies by forcing the federal government to default on its debt obligations.
Now is the time for you to show the same steadfast leadership that saved our economy, by acting decisively to end this madness. This situation demands that you use every means at your disposal, including invoking Section 4 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, if necessary, to prevent default. That section reads, in part, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law... shall not be questioned.”
The House Republicans’ proposed “budget” is extortion, holding the government and the public well-being hostage to their extreme demands. We agree with you that presenting such a budget while threatening default is not a negotiation, but an act of war against the American people. For example:
· In their analysis of the Republicans’ bill, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) found that it would have devastating impacts on Medicaid recipients, putting more than 10 million low-income Americans at risk of losing their health coverage. It would also impose even stricter work requirements on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients — the majority of whom already work. “Under the bill, people unable to document employment could lose both SNAP and Medicaid,” according to the CBPP analysis.
· Although Speaker McCarthy assured Americans that Social Security was “off the table,” his plan would slash funding for the Social Security Administration, leading to closed field offices, shorter hours, and longer wait times for people applying for benefits.
· The Republicans also want to cut all non-defense spending by turning back the clock to Fiscal 2022 levels and limiting future annual growth to one percent for the next 10 years. This would be in exchange for extending the debt ceiling for only one year. CBPP’s report states,
“Cutting a broad swath of public services — from schools, childcare, and public health to environmental protection and college aid — and making it harder for people to afford the basics while permitting more tax cheating and cutting taxes for the wealthy is failed trickle-down economics at its worst…. This agenda would narrow opportunity, deepen inequality, and increase hardship.”
· Their plan would also repeal or defund most of the environmental policies of the Inflation Reduction Act, gutting the most comprehensive climate legislation enacted by any country on Earth, and likely ensuring that humanity will face a widely unlivable planet in this century.
These and other measures would inflict pain, suffering — even death — on those vulnerable Americans least able to defend themselves: the young, the elderly and infirm, and the poor. The cruelty inherent in many of the Trump administration policies was their point.
The so-called Party of Lincoln is now truly the party of Simon Legree. Meanwhile, the trillions in tax cuts already given by Trump to the nation’s wealthiest would remain, and the IRS would be unable to track down the worst tax cheats among them.
Mr. President, the choice is yours: Do whatever is necessary to resolve the debt limit crisis, including invoking the 14th Amendment if necessary, and cut short the prolonged agony of a possible debt default with all its calamitous consequences — or see the MAGA extremists impose their inhumane will on the American people for the next decade or more.
Michael Dover is a steering committee member of Indivisible Northampton--Swing Left Western Massachusetts.
House Republican Proposals Jeopardize Transportation
Safety, Infrastructure Across South Carolina
By US Department of Transportation
Congressional Republicans are holding the nation’s full faith and credit hostage in an effort to impose devastating cuts that would hurt rural communities, raise costs for hardworking families, and set back economic growth. Last week, House Republicans released their extreme proposal to hold our economy hostage in order to slash funding for programs the American people depend on in their everyday lives—including funding that’s vital for ensuring transportation safety and infrastructure in South Carolina. And they are demanding these cuts while separately advancing proposals to add over $3 trillion to deficits through tax cuts and giveaways skewed to the wealthy and big corporations.
While the President’s Budget details a plan to make our communities safer and protect workers and consumers, House Republicans’ proposal to cut a broad range of critical programs in South Carolina by 22%:
• Cut 90 Rail Safety Inspections in South Carolina. At a time when train derailments are wreaking havoc on community safety, House Republicans’ proposal would lead to 90 fewer rail safety inspection days and 720 fewer miles of track inspected in South Carolina next year alone. Since the Norfolk Southern train derailment, bipartisan Senators have called for more rail inspections, not fewer.
• Jeopardize Air Safety and Increase Airport Security Wait Times. The proposal would shut down services at 4 Contract Air Traffic Control Towers in South Carolina, likely also require shut down of additional Federally-staffed facilities, and increase wait times at TSA security check points at large airports across the country by over 2 hours.
In addition to the devastating impacts these cuts have on priorities from education and veterans medical care, to public safety and food assistance, Congressional Republicans’ plan would also claw back funding designated for critical transportation programs that would cost the country vital resources:
• Withhold Vital Transportation Infrastructure Funding. Under the House Republican proposal, South Carolina would stand to lose nearly $40 million in funding for transit and highway infrastructure projects all across the state.
Rep. Duncan Supports the Limit, Save, Grow Act
Washington, D.C.– Last Wednesday, Congressman Jeff Duncan released the following statement after the Limit, Save, Grow Act to restore fiscal responsibility in Washington passed the House.
“The best way to grow America is to shrink Washington. We will do this through the Limit, Save, Grow Act: limit government spending, save taxpayer dollars, and grow the economy. Instead of giving the Administration a blank check like Congressional Democrats did last Congress, it’s time we take responsible steps to cut government spending, lower inflation, reduce dependence on our adversaries like China, and expand our economy. I was proud to support the Limit, Save, Grow Act because it is fiscally-responsible policy that will lead to over $4.5 trillion in taxpayer savings.
“As a lifelong fiscal conservative and someone who has been a longtime advocate for fiscal responsibility in Washington, this plan is something I can get behind. The national debt has surpassed $31 trillion, and the Left has spent more than $6 trillion since Joe Biden took office. We are currently in a dangerous and unsustainable place financially because of Washington’s out-of-control spending and COVID-era handouts. Americans feel the pain of Joe Biden’s economy as we deal with the aftereffects of unfettered federal spending in the form of surging inflation and higher energy costs.
“If the status quo continues, we will leave the next generation with a lower standard of living than our own. To continue down this road would be insanity, and it’s time we live within our means instead of racking up debt. Joe Biden, however, refuses to address this and continues to ignore the inevitable—the White House must come to the negotiating table and quit kicking the can down the road. Since I came to Congress, I have worked hard daily to tackle Washington’s spending problem to ensure a better life for my children and grandchildren. Limit, Save, Grow is fiscally conservative legislation that will responsibly help us get past Washington’s COVID-era spending spree and get our fiscal future back on track.”
Background: The Limit, Save, Grow Act will:
1.Limit Federal Spending. Rolling back to FY2022 spending levels and instituting a 1% annual growth cap will amount to an estimated $3.6 trillion in savings over the next ten years – and this includes upfront cuts now, not just promises of cuts in the future. This legislation also protects funding of our national defense and does NOT cut Medicare or Social Security.
2.Save Taxpayer Dollars by reclaiming unspent COVID funds, defunding Biden’s IRS army, repealing “Green New Deal” tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act (estimated to be valued at $1.2 Trillion by Goldman Sachs), and blocking Biden’s student loan “forgiveness” scheme.
3.Grow the Economy by strengthening the workforce, restoring commonsense work requirements for federal assistance programs (while reducing childhood poverty), preventing executive overreach through the REINS Act, lowering energy and utility costs, and increasing domestic energy production by including H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act.
This legislation is supported by the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Heritage Action, National Taxpayers Union, and Americans for Limited Government.
Good morning! (May 8) A lot is happening this week in Washington, and I wanted to give you a quick update. First, the House will debate the strongest immigration enforcement bill ever brought to the House floor this week. The bill closes asylum loopholes that drug cartels, gang members, and others exploit to stay in this country, increases enforcement on the border, finishes the wall, and makes many Trump-era enforcement policies permanent. The Biden Administration has spent the past few years falsely claiming that “all is well” on our southern border when everyone else knows that’s not the case. There are migrants from nearly every continent walking across our border because they know the Biden Administration has adopted a de-facto OPEN BORDERS policy. A nation without borders will cease to exist, and there is a bipartisan consensus that we need the Biden Administration to do more ENFORCEMENT with our immigration laws.
Another big issue this week is the debt ceiling. The Biden Administration has said that our nation will hit our max borrowing capacity this June without Congressional action. They’ve known this for months but have refused to negotiate with Republicans in the House and Senate to find ways to solve our debt crisis. At the 11th hour, Biden is finally inviting Republican leaders to the White House for “talks.” House Republicans have already passed a bill that will cut trillions in government spending by undoing the terrible effects of the omnibus spending bill that I opposed at Christmas, clawing back unspent COVID funds, and capping future spending. We do this without cutting a dime from Social Security, Medicare, or VA Benefits. And as a reminder, it’s our runaway government spending that is fueling record inflation!
Cutting government spending should absolutely be a condition before raising the debt ceiling. Biden needs to stop letting himself be controlled and manipulated by his staff and do what’s right for the country for a change! On both border enforcement and spending!
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