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Entries in AUFC (35)

Wednesday
Feb042015

Americans United For Change - Sen. Kelly Ayotte Votes to Put Politics Above Public Safety

 

The Republican Congress Holds Critical DHS Resources Hostage in Futile Effort to Undermine the President’s Immigration Executive Action

 

Ayotte Called on to Put Nation’s Security First, Pass a Clean DHS Funding Bill

 

 

 

Washington DC – Today, Senator Kelly Ayotte voted with fellow Republicans to hold hostage critical Department of Homeland Security resources and workers’ pay in exchange for concessions over the President’s immigration policy. Fortunately, Democrats in the Senate blocked consideration of a fatally-flawed DHS funding bill, passed in the U.S. House last month, which seeks to undermine the President’s executive action on immigration that is today giving millions of undocumented workers who pass a background check an opportunity to keep their families together, get right with the law and pay taxes.

 

Rather than pass a clean DHS funding bill, Republicans ignored warnings from two Republican former DHS heads and went forward with the ‘poison pill’ bill they knew the President would never sign. With funding set to run out on February 27 for the agency tasked with aviation and border security and many counterterrorism and emergency readiness efforts, Ayotte’s time-wasting attempt to advance the flawed DHS bill effectively put at risk the public safety and the pay of nearly 150,000 front-line national security workers, including border security agents and Coast Guard members. In response, Americans United for Change challenged Sen. Ayotte to get her priorities straight and help avoid a DHS shutdown by urging Senate Majority Mitch McConnell to hold a vote on a clean DHS funding bill with no anti-immigrant measures attached.

 

Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “Senator Ayotte made her point today: the Senator really wants to go back to breaking up families and mass deporting DREAMers and undocumented workers who are willing to pay their fair share in taxes and help the economy. We get it. Can she now get on with her job of ensuring the brave men and women who keep us all safe have the resources they need? Will Sen. Ayotte join calls for a vote on a clean DHS funding bill – or will she keep playing politics with counterterrorism resources and the paychecks of national security workers out on the front-lines?

 

“The flawed legislation Republicans brought to the table today is based entirely on flawed arguments. Republicans say the President didn’t have the legal authority to defer the deportation of 5 million undocumented immigrants. However, over 230 Constitutional law scholars, immigration law experts, Mayors, State Attorneys General and other experts, not to mention the majority of the American public, believe the President acted well within his authority. The GOP’s selective memory conveniently forgets similar actions taken by President Reagan and every other President since Eisenhower. Republicans have refused to put forward a comprehensive immigration reform bill, and yet have the audacity to complain that the President didn’t wait to address the broken immigration system.”

 

“Republicans like Ayotte know there’d be no need for the President’s executive action if they simply passed a real comprehensive immigration reform bill. But it’s clear the extreme anti-immigrant elements in the Republican caucus won’t allow that, and that’s why we’re seeing this kind of reckless brinksmanship with DHS funding today.  Even in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in France and Canada, it’s clear this Republican Congress is willing to compromise our national security to keep the immigration system broken -- and that’s more than a little disturbing.”

Thursday
Jan292015

AUFC - Sen. Kelly Ayotte Urged to Stop Putting Politics Before Public Safety, Pass a Clean DHS Funding Bill 

The Republican Congress Is Holding DHS Funding Hostage in Reckless Effort to Undo the President’s Immigration Executive Action that Is Keeping Families Together

 

Washington DC – As a February 27 deadline looms for Congress to reauthorize funding for the Department of Homeland Security - the agency tasked with aviation and border security and many counterterrorism and emergency readiness efforts - Americans United for Change called on Sen. Kelly Ayotte and fellow Republicans in Congress to stop playing politics with public safety and pass a clean DHS funding bill. That means no strings attached, unlike in the DHS funding bill House Republicans passed earlier this month that would defund the President’s immigration executive action and resume deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced intentions to take up the legislation soon, but would be wise to remember the poison-pill House legislation has zero chance of becoming law.

 

How We Got Here: As Huffington Post reports, “In December, Congress approved funding through the end of the fiscal year for every department except DHS, which was funded only until the end of February. That decision was made because Republicans hoped to use the DHS bill to block policies advanced by the president that could allow up to 5 million undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. temporarily and work legally.” 

 

Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “The Republican Party that gave us the government shutdown that sucked billions of dollars out of the economy is back with another manufactured crisis at the American people’s expense. This time, Republicans are needlessly holding up critical homeland security resources in protest of the President’s immigration action. Leader McConnell and Speaker Boehner know the President, like Reagan before him, acted well within his legal authority in giving an opportunity for undocumented immigrants who pass a background check to keep their families together, get right with the law and pay their fair share in taxes.  But it’s clear the extreme anti-immigrant elements in the Republican caucus are the ones calling the plays and they’re even willing to compromise public safety to go backwards on immigration reform.   It’s why we’re seeing political stunts like this to keep the fringe at bay instead of any effort by Republicans to pass a real comprehensive immigration reform bill.  If they did that, there would be no need for the President’s executive actions. DHS funding is not something to be playing political football with especially in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in France and Canada, but here we are, the Party of Mass Deportation is ready to kick off.  And New Hampshire voters deserve to know: Is Senator Kelly Ayotte going to go along with this troubling and irresponsible political brinkmanship? Will Ayotte vote to put politics, or public safety first? If the latter is her priority, Ayotte can prove it by joining Democratic calls on Mitch McConnell to hold a vote on a clean DHS funding bill. If it’s the former, she should be embarrassed and has some explaining to do back home.”

Tuesday
Oct072014

AUFC - The National 'Put the Middle Class First' Bus Tour Rolls Into the Granite State, Joined by Congresswoman Shea-Porter 

 

18-State Tour to Underscore Clear Choice Voters Face in November:
Democrats’ Middle-Out Approach to Building an Economy That Works for Everyone vs. Scott Brown and Frank Guinta’s Top-Down Approach That Works Only for the Wealthy Few & Big Corporations

 

[Left, Manchester stop; Right, Nashua stop]

More Pictures from Today’s Events in NH: http://www.middleclassfirst.com/tagged/pictures
Video: Congresswoman Shea-Porter’s remarks: http://youtu.be/QUAW4fD5CiQ 
Video: Pastor Gail Kinney’s remarks: http://youtu.be/nGVL8OXdTyE 
Video from Nashua: http://youtu.be/_3eK2k-ehFI

www.MiddleClassFirst.com
#MiddleClassFirst

Washington DC – Americans United for Change has hit the road with the national “Put the Middle Class First” bus tour to help drive home the clear choice before voters on November 4 between having a Democratic Congress that works for them or a Tea Party Congress that works for corporate special interests like the Koch brothers. With the backdrop of a 45’ long ‘fair shot advocate on wheels’ and with invaluable support from the NH Democratic Party and Alliance for Retired Americans, the tour kicked off in Manchester and Nashua, NH today and was joined by Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, as well as local faith leaders, safety net advocates, and seniors who agree that a strong economy can only be built to last from the middle out.  The alternative? : the top-down Tea Party approach espoused by Frank Guinta and Scott Brown (R-MA) of giving more tax breaks to millionaires that never manage to create jobs but always manage to undermine middle class priorities like education and Medicare.

Highlights from Remarks Made at Manchester Stop:

U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH-1st): "Something has gone terribly wrong for New Hampshire families, for our young people and our old people, and we know what it is that happened: D.C. Republican politicians have stopped working to support the middle class and bring the next generation forward. New Hampshire Democrats know how to jumpstart the middle class: we need to ensure that families earn a livable wage, that young people can afford their education, and that our seniors can count on their earned benefits in retirement. That's why the middle class needs to practice self-defense and vote on November 4th."

 

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley: “Up here in New Hampshire we’re all too familiar with the stakes this November. We’re up against Republican opponents backed by the Koch brothers, Wall Street and big oil interests who want to roll back decades of progress that democrats have made for Granite Staters, seniors, small businesses, students, women and middle class families.  This year we’re taking on Scott Brown. Over the last several months since he moved up here from Massachusetts, we’ve gotten to know that Scott Brown only works for Scott Brown. Just last week Scott Brown said that women’s health and equal are not “issues that people care about” here in New Hampshire. And how can we forget the time that Scott Brown hid in a bathroom to avoid reporters’ questions about the Hobby Lobby decision that allows bosses to come between women and their health care decisions. He even voted to give tax breaks to protect big oil companies, yet he doesn’t support giving 110,000 hardworking Granite Staters a needed raise by increasing the minimum wage.  Frank Guinta too is only interested in moving the Tea Party agenda forward and America backwards. Guinta’s record in the two short years he was in Congress was abominable. He voted against New Hampshire one-hundred percent of the time. In fact during those two short years, he managed to be voted one of the ‘Most Corrupt Members of Congress’.”  

 

President of the New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans, Lucy Edwards: “New Hampshire senior citizens and their families and neighbors should do their homework this year and vote in self-defense on November 4th. One in five New Hampshire residents got social security benefits in 2013. Over 231,000 in New Hampshire received Medicare benefits allowing us to remain healthy and contribute to our communities. These earned benefits mean that families and communities to not have to worry about carrying the full cost of housing, food and health care for those who are retired and disabled. The incomes from these benefits are spent in our communities. And healthy and secure seniors provide many hours of volunteer time in the community, the unpaid work that New Hampshire depends on for many of our town governments among many other projects.”

 

United Church of Christ Pastor, Gail Kinney: “I want to say a few words about ‘Beloved Community’, because that is what’s at stake in this election in 2014. Beloved Community means that no person who works full time should be relegated to a life of poverty. Beloved Community means that no senior citizen who has worked hard and played by the rules should end up living in economic insecurity and health insecurity. Beloved Community means that women and men who perform the same work, should be treated equally at work.  We should strive to be prophetic witness on November 4th, 2014.”

 

Highlights from Remarks Made at Nashua Stop:

Nashua State Senator Bette Lasky: “There’s been a lot of talk lately by a former Senator from Massachusetts about the issues he thinks are important, or aren’t important to the citizens of New Hampshire. What Brown doesn’t is realize that not only are women disproportionately affected by the minimum wage, many are mothers trying support families and feed their kids. So encourage everyone to get out there and vote for the people that will keep New Hampshire moving forward, not backwards.”

Alderman, and Candidate for Executive Council Diane Sheehan: “It’s important that we remember what’s at stake in this coming election. And what’s at stake is us, in the middle class, and those trying to get into the middle class. My opponent has defunded Planned Parenthood. I’ll tell you that I lost my mother to breast cancer which was discovered at stage four, and I understand the importance of early detection for cervical and breast cancer and the important role that Planned Parenthood plays. My opponent also called Medicare and Medicaid “welfare”. We need to remind people that good early access to healthcare costs everyone less and leads to better outcomes. I’ve been getting things in the mail saying “right to work”. If my mother was not a member of a union when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she would have lost her job and lost her healthcare and I would still 14 years later be paying off her medical bills. There is a reason we have unions. We need to remind people of the stakes so that they show up on November 4th.”

United Steelworkers District 4 Director, John Shinn: “We’re tired of corporate greed. The Koch brothers have enough money, I think we can all agree on that. CEO’s are more concerned about Wall Street, but this about Main Street. This is about hard working people getting their fair share.”

Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “A healthy economy depends on having a strong and growing middle class.  And while we’ve seen the economy pick up speed the last 5 years, many American families still feel like they’re spinning their wheels. And it’s no wonder why: incomes have been stagnant or even shrinking for more than a decade at the same time the cost of food, child care, college, housing, retirement security, and basic necessities has soared.  The good news is it’s a problem we know how to fix: by making critical investments in education and infrastructure that will create more jobs, opportunity, and an economy that works for everyone. But instead, Tea Party Republicans have stood in the way of every reasonable proposal made by President Obama and Democrats to move the country forward and instead have made sure this Congress has been the least productive and most beholden to the special interests in U.S. history. This election is about a choice between having Democratic Congress working to level the playing field for the middle class versus a Tea Party Congress willing to shut down the government and hurt the economy to keep the game rigged for the wealthy special interests.”

 

Four years in a row, House Republicans passed a budget plan that voucherizes Medicare, slashes Medicaid, Pell grants and child care services, and shortchanges badly needed repairs to America’s crumbling bridges and roads. At the same time the Ryan budget, which Frank Guinta voted repeatedly for, protects Big Oil subsides and gives away $5 trillion in new tax breaks for millionaires and corporations that outsource U.S. jobs. Not to be outdone, Republican Governors are enacting their own Robin Hood in Reverse policies, from tax breaks geared towards the super-wealthy, to gutting public education, to refusing to accept available Medicaid resources to cover thousands of vulnerable citizens including Veterans who living one health emergency away from bankruptcy. The Koch brothers, Big Insurance and Wall Street are clearly satisfied customers judging by the millions of dollars they continue to funnel into Republican campaigns like that of Guinta and Scott Brown.


In contrast, Democrats in Congress have a detailed set of proposals that put the middle class first, giving more Americans a fair shot at getting into the middle class and achieving the American Dream, including: Ensuring women receive equal pay for equal work; Making college affordable; Raising the Minimum Wage; Creating jobs by investing in infrastructure; and Protecting Social Security and Medicare from benefit cuts, voucherization or privatization schemes.

Sunday
Oct052014

AUFC - Mon., Oct. 6 in Manchester & Nashua: U.S. Rep. Shea-Porter to Join the National 'Put the Middle Class First' Bus Tour 

The National ‘Put the Middle Class First’ Bus Tour Headed to the Granite State, To Be Joined by Congresswoman Shea-Porter 

18-State Tour to Underscore Clear Choice Voters Face in November:
Democrats’ Middle-Out Approach to Building an Economy That Works for Everyone vs. Scott Brown and Frank Guinta’s Top-Down Approach That Works Only for the Wealthy Few & Big Corporations

 

www.MiddleClassFirst.com
#MiddleClassFirst

Washington DC – Americans United for Change is hitting the road with the national “Put the Middle Class First” bus tour to help drive home the clear choice before voters on November 4 between having a Democratic Congress that works for them or a Tea Party Congress that works for corporate special interests like the Koch brothers. The tour kicks off in New Hampshire on October 6th, first in Manchester at 10 a.m. ET followed by Nashua at 1 pm ET.  With the backdrop of a 45’ long ‘fair shot advocate on wheels’ and with invaluable support from the NH Democratic Party and Alliance for Retired Americans, Americans United will be joined by U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in Manchester and State Senator Bette Lasky (D-NH District 13) in Nashua, as  well as local faith leaders, safety net advocates, and seniors who agree that a strong economy can only be built to last from the middle out, not the top down as Frank Guinta and Scott Brown (R-MA) insist. *SEE DETAILS BELOW.


While the economy is picking up speed, many American families are still struggling to climb into the middle class and stay there. The reason: incomes have been stagnant or even shrinking for more than a decade at the same time the cost of food, child care, college, housing, retirement security, and basic necessities has soared. That’s why all eyes are on Washington to make critical investments in education and infrastructure that will create more jobs, opportunity, and an economy that works for everyone. But instead, Tea Party Republicans have stood in the way of every reasonable proposal made by President Obama and Democrats to move the country forward and instead have made sure this Congress has been the least productive and most beholden to the special interests in U.S. history.

Four years in a row, House Republicans passed a budget plan that voucherizes Medicare, slashes Medicaid, Pell grants and child care services, and shortchanges badly needed repairs to America’s crumbling bridges and roads. At the same time the Ryan budget, which Frank Guinta voted repeatedly for, protects Big Oil subsides and gives away $5 trillion in new tax breaks for millionaires and corporations that outsource U.S. jobs. Not to be outdone, Republican Governors like Scott Walker and Rick Scott signed into law their own Robin Hood in Reverse policies, from tax breaks geared towards the super-wealthy, to gutting public education, to refusing to accept available Medicaid resources to cover thousands of vulnerable citizens living one health emergency away from bankruptcy.  The Koch brothers, Big Insurance and Wall Street are clearly satisfied customers judging by the millions of dollars they continue to funnel into Republican campaigns like that of Guinta and Scott Brown.

In contrast, Democrats in Congress have a detailed set of proposals that put the middle class first, giving more Americans a fair shot at getting into the middle class and achieving the American Dream, including: Ensuring women receive equal pay for equal work; Making college affordable; Raising the Minimum Wage; Creating jobs by investing in infrastructure; and Protecting Social Security and Medicare from benefit cuts, vouchers that don’t keep pace with seniors’ health costs, or privatization schemes.

STOP #1 : THE ‘PUT THE MIDDLE CLASS FIRST’ BUS TOUR COMES TO MANCHESTER

 

WHO:             U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH-1st)
Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change

NHDP Chairman Raymond Buckley

Gail Kinney, Pastor, South Danbury (NH) United Church of Christ

Lucy Edwards, President of the New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans

WHERE:       Veterans Memorial Park, 889 Elm St, Manchester, NH

 

WHEN:          Monday, October 6, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. ET

 

STOP #2 : THE ‘PUT THE MIDDLE CLASS FIRST’ BUS TOUR COMES TO NASHUA

 

WHO:             State Senator Bette Lasky (D-NH District 13)
Alderman Diane Sheehan

Brad Woodhouse, Americans United for Change

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley

 

WHERE:       Parking lot outside Nashua Public Library, 2 Court Street, Nashua, NH

 

WHEN:          Monday, October 6, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. ET


###


Americans United for Change, known formally as Americans United to Protect Social Security, is a 501c4 issue-advocacy organization established in 2005 to beat back President Bush’s effort to privatize Social Security and that has been working ever since to advance a progressive agenda in Congress including Wall Street reform, protecting Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security from benefit cuts, and requiring millionaires and big corporations pay their fair share in taxes.

 

 

Friday
Jul252014

AUFC - Senator Kelly Ayotte Challenged to 'Live The Wage'

 

Would Ayotte Still Say No to Raising the Minimum Wage If She Tried Living on $77 for a Week?

 

Washington DC – On the fifth anniversary since the last federal minimum wage increase, Americans United for Change dared Senator Kelly Ayotte to take the ‘Live The Wage Challenge’.  The challenge: step into the shoes of a minimum wage worker, live on just $77 for a week, and then see if she still opposes giving 28 million workers an overdue raise. Earning just $7.25 an hour, the average full time minimum wage worker struggles to survive on only $77 a week after paying taxes and housing expenses. Earlier this year, Ayotte voted to squash even having a debate on legislation raising the minimum wage to $10.10.

SEE: ABC News: ‘Members of Congress Plan to Live on Minimum Wage for a Week’


Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change, the group behind the national ‘Give America a Raise Bus Tour’: “To Senator Ayotte who draws a six-figure government salary and says $7.25 an hour is a livable wage, I say walk the walk. Ayotte should try living the minimum wage if she’s going to keep voting against raising it for others, many of whom are struggling to support a family. Now five years after the last minimum wage increase, Ayotte may not have noticed that the prices of food, utilities, and basic necessities never stopped going up.  But minimum wage workers certainly have. A frozen minimum wage combined with inflation is why more and more Americans are falling into poverty even while working full time, and that’s wrong.”

 

History has shown time and again that raising the minimum wage is one of the best ways to jumpstart the economy and create jobs, unlike proposals Ayotte supports to minimize taxes for millionaires and corporations that ship jobs overseas,” added Woodhouse. “Putting more money in the pockets of minimum wage workers makes them stronger consumers, which leads to more hiring to meet a greater demand for goods and services.  Businesses like Costco and GAP have proven that investing in workers and paying a livable wage is a recipe for success.  Senator Ayotte has an opportunity to gain a little perspective on how difficult it is for minimum wage workers to stretch so few dollars and make choices between basic necessities. If she’s not willing to take the challenge, why not? What is she afraid of?”


Top 10 Reasons to Raise the Minimum Wage to $10.10:

 

  1. Nationally, raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 would boost the wages of 28 million workers by $35 billion, generate $22 billion in economic activity, and support the creation of 85,000 new jobs.
  2. In New Hampshire, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would increase wages for 113,000 workers by $143,575,000

 

  1. The 13 states that didn’t wait for Congress to act and raised their minimum wages on January 1 have since seen higher average job growth than neighboring states that kept theirs at the same rate.
  2. More than 600 economists and business leaders agree it’s time to raise the minimum wage.
  3. Nearly a quarter of all of minimum wage workers - including child care providers, janitors, and nursing assistants - are the primary bread winners in their family. 35 is the average age of workers who would benefit from raising the minimum wage to $10.10; 88 percent are older than 20, one third are over 40. 
  4. Full time minimum wage workers earn just $15,080 a year. According to MIT, the living wage in New Hampshire is $20,140 to be able to afford housing, medical care, transportation and food. If full-time Granite State workers made $10.10 an hour, they would earn $21,008 a year.
  5. Raising the minimum wage would reduce government spending on Food Stamps by $46 billion over the next decade. 
  6. Low Wages Cost Taxpayers A Quarter-Trillion Dollars Every Year.
  7. Six In Ten Small Business Owners Want A $10.10 Minimum Wage. Only 20% of Americans think they could live off Minimum Wage.

10.  Workers making the minimum wage have been facing a continual pay cut since July 2009 as inflation has eroded the purchasing power of the minimum wage. Cumulative loss is over $6 billion.