ST. LOUIS – As Congress works to balance the budget and reduce the deficit, hundreds of Missourians rallied today in front of Senator Claire McCaskill's (D-MO) office to urge her to protect Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and workers who provide services that are critical to the safety and well-being of Americans. During the rally, Senator McCaskill met with representatives from the American Federation of Government Employees, Missouri Jobs with Justice, Paraquad, Missouri Budget Project, Metropolitan Congregations United, GRO-Grass Roots Organizing, Missouri Health Care for All, and Missouri Pro-Vote.
At the rally the Reverend Susan Sneed of Metropolitan Congregations United spoke of the importance of Medicare to her efforts to provide care for her elderly mother, stating that “balancing the federal budget on the backs of vulnerable Americans is never the answer. We promised our seniors that if they their taxes and paid into Social Security and Medicare, these programs would be there for them when they needed them. Rather than cutting critical programs, we must look for balanced budget solutions that uphold our American values, require all individuals and corporations to contribute their fair share, and ensure that all Americans have access to the basic services they need.” Monica Williams of Paraquad went on to add that Medicaid is her life line to independence since it provides her personal care attendant.
"It is absolutely critical that our efforts to reduce the deficit are balanced solutions that include new revenue,” said Ruth Ehresman of the Missouri Budget Project. "We are very concerned that Congress will try to impose global spending caps or a balanced budget amendment that may sound good on the surface, but which over time would require drastically cutting Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid and other services that Americans value."
The general public was asked to sign a petition to Missouri’s Senators that read, "We urge you to stand strong and protect Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and the federal workers who deliver our essential services. A cut to our federal budget and workforce is a cut to Missouri. We have sacrificed enough. Now, we urge you to raise revenues. It's time for the rich and big corporations to pay their fair share. We do not accept that there have to be spending caps, cuts to essential services or balanced budget amendments."
Organizers of the rally were the American Federation of Government Employees, Missouri Jobs with Justice, Metropolitan Congregations United, Missouri Health Care for All, Missouri Budget Project, GRO - Grass Roots Organizing, Missouri Pro-Vote, Paraquad and the Disability Coalition on Health Care Reform.
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