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Progressive States Network Statement on "Fiscal Cliff" Legislation

01/02/2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
CONTACT: Charles Monaco, Director of Communications and New Media, Progressive States Network, cmonaco@progressivestates.org

Progressive States Network Statement on "Fiscal Cliff" Legislation Passed By Congress


New York, NY — Ann Pratt, Executive Director of Progressive States Network, made the following statement today in reaction to yesterday's passage in Congress of bipartisan legislation to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff":

"While the legislation passed by Congress yesterday is far from perfect, we applaud the White House and Congress for achieving some important and historic results for the vast majority of American families while delaying the drive to make cuts to the health and retirement security of millions.

"Following the examples set by many states which have enacted more progressive tax codes in recent years, strong bipartisan majorities in Congress agreed to increase federal tax rates on the wealthy and extend current federal rates for middle-class families, child care tax credits, tuition tax credits, and unemployment insurance for 2 million Americans who continue to be out of work through no fault of their own. The final compromise also avoids any needless cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.

"Unfortunately, the deal only delays implementation of painful automatic spending cuts in the sequester for two months. These deep domestic spending cuts would be devastating for many state programs, and we hope that the White House and Congress will repeat their bipartisan work to prevent sequestration from moving forward. As this debate moves forward, state legislators across the nation should applaud President Obama's clear promise to prevent conservatives from holding the nation's economy hostage over raising the debt ceiling, as well as his intention to seek a balanced approach that includes additional revenue as part of any future deal. State legislators should also continue to stand strongly against any cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.

"As new state legislative sessions and a new Congress all start to convene, lawmakers at every level of government need to focus the conversation away from economically damaging cuts provoked by manufactured legislative crises and towards the real challenges facing all of us: addressing the continuing jobs crisis, ensuring economic security, and advancing solutions that will protect families while helping to build stronger and more prosperous states."

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Progressive States Network (http://www.progressivestates.org) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the work of progressive state legislators around the country and to the advancement of state policies that deliver on the issues that matter to working families: integrating immigrants into our communities, strong wage standards and workplace freedom, balancing work and family responsibilities, health care for all, smart growth and clean energy, tax and budget reform, clean and fair elections, and technology investments to bridge the digital divide.