Sept. 22, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Progressive Caucus Urges Entitlements to Be Taken off Table

The Congressional Progressive Caucus is asking Democrats to support its position that the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction should raise taxes on the rich and keep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security off the table.

The caucus plans to send a letter to the super committee asking it to focus on three key principles: creating jobs, raising revenues and protecting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

The CPC's co-chairmen, Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), are in the process of gathering signatures from other House Democrats for the letter, which will be sent to Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who co-chair the super committee.

"The American people have spoken loud and clear on their priorities for our nation," the letter reads. "They want Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare protected, they want billionaires and corporations to finally pay their faire share and they want to be able to get back to work to earn a fair living. We stand ready and willing to work with you to uphold America's priorities."

Creating jobs, the letter reads, is the best way to get the economy back on track.

The nation's deficits, meanwhile, are "so high because a handful of very wealthy individuals and corporations enjoy exorbitant profits and low taxes while millions of others continue to struggle," according to the caucus.

"The income disparity between rich and poor in our country continues to grow as we see the middle class slip away," the letter continues. "It is time to get rid of tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, end the Bush-era tax handouts and close corporate loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas."

Finally, the letter states that cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security should be "off the table in any debt reduction discussions."

"We should not be cutting the lifelines that millions of Americans have paid for and depend on, particularly during tough economic times," the letter reads. "It is unconscionable to sacrifice these programs to pay for more corporate greed."

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