Campaign for America’s Future, the AFL-CIO, and more than 60 national organizations today had one simple message for Congress: Repeal the sequester.
Over 300,000 activists joined forces for a national day of action in Washington and in their local communities. Protests were held across the country, with thousands of concerned citizens speaking up against the devastating impact that the sequester will have on millions of hardworking Americans. All in all, 9 percent of domestic spending and 13 percent of defense spending will be cut in a seven-month time span. Aside from the million jobs expected to be lost, the threat of a double-dip recession, and risk to our national security, the automatic cuts would have a simply egregious impact on .
Raleigh Green, a Department of Veterans Affairs worker, said that “the answer to the budget problem is not on the federal workers’ backs,” and that the middle class “didn’t create this problem.”
Green, a U.S. Army Veteran, said that although he has not been furloughed yet, “if it [the sequester] affects one of us, it affects us all,” and that Congress should “get rid of it, period,” because “the decisions they make today are going to affect me for years.”
CAF shares the sentiment of Green and the majority of Americans: “What Congress created, Congress can end,” argues Roger Hickey, co-director of CAF.
On this day of action, former congressman Barney Frank, a longtime advocate for a sensible federal budget, pointed out in an interview with OurFuture.org’s Isaiah J. Poole that he “voted against the sequester” and “what we should be doing is repealing the sequester.”
Frank urged members of Congress to “cut the military, cut it sensibly, don’t lay off workers,” and raise revenue through “increased taxes on the wealthy.”
The House also voted today on the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s Back to Work Budget, which Frank believes “a lot of Democratic members really believe in that budget, but are worried about it politically.” (The Back to Work Budget was defeated, 327-84, with 102 Democrats voting against the budget and 84 voting in favor.)
He concluded that Americans must keep voicing their opinion that jobs and rebuilding the working-class economy should be the priority, and members of Congress “ought to hear about it.”