A victory was won by the President when right-wing extremists in Congress were forced to back down and allow a vote to raise the debt ceiling and re-open government. However, this is an ongoing battle. A conference committee has been established as part of the compromise, with a December 13 report back date to propose a new budget. Republican Cong. Paul Ryan is already discussing cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, one of the great defenders of democracy and the people, is also on the conference committee. His tour of the South has exposed the fact that these programs have support in the heart of districts where members of Congress threaten to cut them.
Mass action and millions of voices are needed now to demand: end the sequester; protect and expand Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid; pass the People's Budget submitted by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Another top issue before Congress is comprehensive immigration reform with legalization, a path to citizenship and workers' rights. As Rep Grijalva says, "we cannot kick the can down the road anymore. We're making things worse by doing nothing."
Here are some things you can do:
Call the White House (202-456-1111). Leave a message for President Obama: Thank you for standing firm against the tea party. No grand bargains that cut Social Security.
Ask your local elected officials to compile a list of how people are being hurt by the sequester and make it public, as a pressure on Congress and as an organizing tool.
Help build support for the Sanchez (HR 3118) and Harkin (S 567) bills to strengthen Social Security by increasing benefits and the cost-of-living adjustment. Learn more about the Strengthening Social Security Act here.
To ask your Representative to co-sponsor the bill, go here.
Sign the AFL CIO petition for a roadmap to citizenship here.
Photo: At a recent event, Senator Bernie Sanders spoke about the budget and how Congress should not balance it on the backs of seniors and the poor. National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Facebook page.