Progressive Co-Chair Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva: "Republicans can hold their breath long enough to get what they want."


Sam Stein tweeted this...

...right after I got this:

July 31, 2011

Washington, D.C. - Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, co-chair of the
Congressional Progressive Caucus, today released the following statement on the emerging debt deal:

"This deal trades peoples' livelihoods for the votes of a few
unappeasable right-wing radicals, and I will not support it.
Progressives have been organizing for months to oppose any scheme that cuts Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security, and it now seems clear that even these bedrock pillars of the American success story are on the chopping block. Even if this deal were not as bad as it is, this would be enough for me to fight against its passage.

This deal does not even attempt to strike a balance between more cuts for the working people of America and a fairer contribution from millionaires and corporations. The very wealthy will continue to receive taxpayer handouts, and corporations will keep their expensive federal giveaways. Meanwhile, millions of families unfairly lose more in this deal than they have already lost. I will not be a part of it.

Republicans have succeeded in imposing their vision of a country
without real economic hope. Their message has no public appeal, and Democrats have had every opportunity to stand firm in the face of their irrational demands. Progressives have been rallying support for the successful government programs that have meant health and economic security to generations of our people. Today we, and everyone we have worked to speak for and fight for, were thrown under the bus. We have made our bottom line clear for months: a final deal must strike a balance between cuts and revenue, and must not put all the burden on the working people of this country. This deal fails those tests and many more.

The Democratic Party, no less than the Republican Party, is at a very serious crossroads at this moment. For decades Democrats have stood for a capable, meaningful government - a government that works for the people, not just the powerful, and that represents everyone fairly and equally. This deal weakens the Democratic Party as badly as it weakens the country. We have given much and received nothing in return. The lesson today is that Republicans can hold their breath long enough to get what they want. While I believe the country will not reward them for this in the long run, the damage has already been done.

A clean debt ceiling vote was the obvious way out of this, and many House Democrats have been saying so. Had that vote failed, the president should have exercised his Fourteenth Amendment responsibilities and ended this manufactured crisis.

This deal is a cure as bad as the disease. I reject it, and the American people reject it. The only thing left to do now is repair the damage as soon as possible."

UPDATE, from Sen. Bernie Sanders:

"The Republicans have been absolutely determined to make certain that the rich and large corporations not contribute one penny for deficit reduction, and that all of the sacrifice comes from the middle class and working families in terms of cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, LIHEAP, community health centers, education, Head Start, nutrition, MILC, affordable housing and many other vitally important programs.

"I cannot support legislation like the Reid proposal which balances the budget on the backs of struggling Americans while not requiring one penny of sacrifice from the wealthiest people in our country.  That is not only grotesquely immoral, it is bad economic policy."

  • KansasDem

    I'm not too sure just yet, but I'm beginning to think Lawrence O'Donnell has been right all along.

    Even if not I can see where this "compromise" is less grievous than some of the other ideas that were floated around.

    I'm beginning to see this as a prison riot, where the tea-baggers are the prisoners, we liberals are the hostages, and Obama is the warden. If Obama gets the hostages out alive it's a win no matter how you look at it.

    Then it's up to we "rescued hostages" to come to our senses and vote in a manner that truly benefits us, even if that means holding our noses and voting for blue dogs where true progressives stand no chance of winning.

    Just random thoughts, and hoping for the best.

  • Maritza

    So if both the PL and the teabaggers’ heads explode, we’ll know good work was done.

  • rk

    You know the poor and the elderly are getting shafted.  But the poor don't vote and the elderly by a large majority vote republican.  People get what they vote for.  Seventy five to eighty percent of the country was for the Iraq and Afganistan wars.  Where did they think the money was going to come from?  They voted for Bush in 2004, stayed home in 2010.  The voters are getting exactly what they voted for. It should never be forgotten that the progressives voted for Nader in 2000.  That alone makes progressives bigger idiots than the tea party.  The tea party got its way by working within the republican party to get what it wanted.  And its got everything it wanted. The people with funny hats and patriotic shirts and shitty ideas turned out to be smarter.  

  • Maritza

    JS, RM, KO, ES, SU, and all the other crooks' hair is on fire!

    Let me think, what did they say during the 2010 elections? Oh ya, stay home b/c Obama this and that! Eat your words now and move on, right?!

  • Maritza

    Mccaskil nailted it on MTP, saying, I hope voters see that both extremes are well represented in congress, time for some moderates.

    Some?  Try a whole bunch!

  • MarBarton

    The Dims need grow a pair and vote this down.  Make Obama do what he said he wanted, demand a Clean Bill.  Since there's not time left to process a new bill (how convenient for Obama) he would have to use the 14th.
    He said he was willing to make hard decisions eve if it meant not being reelected, and yet he has repeatedly failed to make hard decisions that would ensure he would be reelected.  st least reelected by Democrats.

    I have dubed the Pseudo Congress the Carrion Eater Chamber.  Since their soul purpose would be to disestablish SS/Medicare taking the money paid in by retirees and spending it on their favorite pork dishes.  Literally fattening themselves off the bodies of the dead.

  • Maritza

    The far “left” is as bad as the far “right”; where are the bills from the far “left” to create jobs? Talk is cheap actions would speak more than the bs that Grijalva speaks of and that other IDIOT (Gutierrez, I think his last name is) from IL that is demanding immigration reform from President Obama yet he is only interested in getting arrested but no bills to show his intent to resolve anything.