Update: I’m going to keep this post updated with new Grayson-Takano letter signers as they come in. As I write, there are these new names — Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Donna Christensen (Virgin Islands), David Cicilline (RI-01), Elijah Cummings (MD-07), Marcia Fudge (OH-11). Also Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01). Also Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18).
Later today, at 12:30 pm EST, 2 million “no benefit cuts” signatures will delivered to the White House. Men and women like you will tell Barack Obama, “No to your budget, sir; No to benefit cuts in any form, including Chained CPI.” This will occur one day before Obama officially releases his first-ever Benefit Cuts Budget.
You can watch the live feed at this site — tune in then for the action. (I personally can’t wait to see who takes delivery. Awkward.)
Ahead of that event, I thought I’d update you on the doings in the halls of power. We have Democratic heroes working those halls for us. These are the latest names.
Who signed the Grayson-Takano letter — “We will vote No to benefit cuts”
The following men and women have made a pledge to you, the American people, that they are reliable votes against benefit cuts in any bill. These are your heroes, and here are their numbers. Please call them, thank them, and contribute to their campaigns. Some, like Mike Honda, could use your help.
Signers of the Grayson-Takano “We will vote No” letter
In addition, I have seen public statements from two House Democrats promising to vote No, though they have not signed the letter:
Chellie Pingree (ME-01) said in a press release: “Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are vital to the economic security of Maine people and I will vote against cuts to benefits in these programs” including chained CPI.
Ann Kuster (NH-02) said in a press release: ” … That is why I will not vote to cut benefits to these vital social programs.”
I expect both to keep their word, but in two different senses of “expect.” I really do expect that Pingree will keep her word. She’s been a reliable progressive in most of her career.
As to Ann Kuster, she’s to be commended for the unequivocal statement, but she’s been off the reservation far too frequently. I think she needs to be reminded that she has set expectations, and she should expect that voters are watching. The number to call is 202-225-5206. The message: “Thanks. Truly thanks. Please follow through.”
Blue America has five candidates who will never vote for benefit cuts
The good people at Blue America vet candidates for Congress, and then raise money for their election. This is not DCCC money, Beltway money, Wall Street money — it’s money from you, the 99%. The following candidates currently running for House seats have told Blue America they will never vote for benefit cuts. In effect, they have signed the Grayson-Takano pledge. These candidates are:
You can read each of their supporting statements here. You can support each of them by clicking on the link at the name and saying thanks with your donations. Thanks.
How do we win a benefit cuts vote in the House?
There is only one way to win, and it’s a two-part effort:
▪ Stiffen the spines of Dems who “oppose cuts” but haven’t promised to vote against them.
▪ Stiffen the spines of “no new taxes” Republicans who either hate John Boehner or have other exploitable vulnerabilities.
We need to do both. Republicans who can be encouraged to vote their no-tax principles (or their vulnerabilities) can be found here. Democrats who have signed the CPC “strong statement” letter, but won’t commit voting No, should be gotten off the fence. This is a career-defining (or career-ending) issue for many of them.
I’ll have updated versions of both of these lists later; the Boehner-haters haven’t yet been added to the Republican list, and they’re a tasty whippable bunch. For now, these are your Democratic heroes. Please find a way to thank and support them.
To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius