Congresswoman Chellie Pingree joined two dozen of her colleagues in urging President Obama not to accept cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid in a deal to raise the debt ceiling.
"Republicans in Congress want to balance the budget on the backs of seniors and families struggling in the recession while protecting tax breaks for the rich and big corporations. That's not a deal we should accept," Pingree said.
The letter to the President says the middle class "has experienced enough pain during the last three years. Republicans are willing to inflict even more. We will not join them."
"First, any cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid should be taken off the table," the letter says. "The individuals depending on these three programs deserve well-conceived improvements, not deep, ideologically driven cuts with harmful consequences. Second, revenue increases must be a meaningful part of any agreement. Tax breaks benefiting the very richest Americans should be eliminated as part of this deal."
Pingree said raising the debt ceiling shouldn't be used for partisan political purposes.
"Raising the debt ceiling has nothing to do with spending and borrowing. The decision to borrow money happened when the last President started two wars and gave huge tax breaks to the rich," Pingree said. "The debt ceiling is about paying our bills and meeting our obligations."
"Not raising the debt ceiling would be like ordering an expensive meal at a restaurant and putting it on your credit card, then refusing to pay when the credit card bill arrives," she said.