(Updated) House Dems who promise to vote No to benefit cuts like Chained CPI

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).
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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

Last name First Dist. Party Phone
Grayson Alan FL-09 D 202-225-9889
Takano Mark CA-41 D 202-225-2305
Beatty Joyce OH-03 D 202-225-4324
Brown Corrine FL-05 D 202-225-0123
Cartwright Matt PA-17 D 202-225-5546
Castor Kathy FL-14 D 202-225-3376
Christensen Donna VI D-Del 202-225-1790
Cicilline David RI-01 D 202-225-4911
Clay William (Lacy) MO-1 D 202-225-2406
Cleaver Emanuel MO-5 D 202-225-4535
Conyers John MI-13 D 202-225-5126
Cummings Elijah MD-07 D 202-225-4741
DeFazio Peter OR-04 D 202-225-6416
Ellison Keith MN-5 D 202-225-4755
Faleomavaega Eni AS D-Del 202-225-8577
Fudge Marcia OH-11 D 202-225-7032
Green Gene TX-29 D 202-225-1688
Grijalva Raúl AZ-3 D 202-225-2435
Gutierrez Luis IL-04 D 202-225-8203
Hastings Alcee FL-20 D 202-225-1313
Honda Michael CA-17 D 202-225-2631
Jackson Lee Sheila TX-18 D 202-225-3816
Kirkpatrick Ann AZ-01 D 202-225-3361
Lee Barbara CA-13 D 202-225-2661
Lynch Stephen MA-8 D 202-225-8273
Maloney Carolyn NY-12 D 202-225-7944
Markey Edward MA-5 D 202-225-2836
McGovern Jim MA-2 D 202-225-6101
Nadler Jerrold NY-10 D 202-225-5635
Napolitano Graciela CA-32 D 202-225-5256
Nolan Rick MN-8 D 202-225-6211
Serrano José NY-15 D 202-225-4361
Velázquez Nydia NY-07 D 202-225-2361
Waters Maxine CA-43 D 202-225-2201

In addition, I have seen public statements from two House Democrats promising to vote No, though they have not signed the letter:

Social Security

Social Security via Shutterstock

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:

Andrew Hounshell (OH-08) — Note: Running for John Boehner’s seat
Daylin Leach (PA-13)
Nicholas Ruiz III (FL-07)
Kenneth Sanders (TX-06)
Carl Sciortino (MA-05)

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.

GP

To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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