300,000 Ask Congress to Repeal the Sequester; Progressive Members Respond

Derek Pugh

More than 20 members of Congress responded to over 300,000 American voices calling for passage of legislation that would repeal of the federal budget sequester.

The bill, H.R. 900, is direct and can be summed up in one sentence: Cancel the sequester. Passing the bill will be “a simple solution to a knotty problem” said Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla.

Representatives reiterated that the sequester is reckless, irresponsible, was never meant to go into effect, and not supported by the majority of Americans. Grayson called the it a “combination of someone’s idiotology, not mine or yours.”

The 300,000 figure is the number of people who have responded to petitions against eliminating title 1 education for more than 2,700 schools, cutting support for almost 1.2 million disadvantaged students. This will put thousands of teachers and aides at risk of unemployment. And, in the coming months, cuts to Head Start services would also be eliminated for approximately 70,000 children and lead to further layoffs. Grayson equated the sequester to that of theft, saying “the sequester will rob us” of almost a million jobs and our chance at winning the race to the top.

Although the sequester went into effect on March 1, many Americans have yet to experience the pain and suffering it will cause for millions of households and the economy as a whole. But Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, likened its impact to that of a tsunami, “for it does not give notice.”

“All of a sudden a great deal of Americans will be walking around without benefits and wondering what happened,” she said.

Lee urged members of Congress to “do what is right for the American people,” and that vital cuts to programs will “literally cost lives.”

Grayson added that our wounded economy is still recovering and that “a cut cannot be a healing.”

Although the future of our country is uncertain, Rep. John Conyers said: “One thing is certain, there will be widespread misery and suffering because of the erosion of government services.”

CAF  joined with more than 60 national organizations, including the AFL-CIO, to ask Congress to cancel the sequester. Click here to see CAF’s action to repeal the sequester.

“We are proud to join with 60 national groups and 300,000 individuals to send a clear message to Congress: End the Sequester,” said Roger Hickey, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future. “The members of Congress at the event today understand the sequester was created by legislative action when conservatives threatened to destroy our economy by failing to raise the debt ceiling. What Congress created, Congress can end. And Rep. John Conyers’ proposed law does it in one sentence. The American people do not want to paralyze important public services or choke of a very weak economy, and that’s why the movement is growing to repeal the sequester.”

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