Writing to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) today emphasized the importance of Democrats and Republicans working together to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff." The full text of Cicilline's letter is embedded below. A copy of the letter, as sent, will be furnished upon request.
Dear Speaker Boehner,
In the week since the House adjourned for the Christmas holiday, I have met with seniors, veterans, small business owners, and middle class families in Rhode Island who cannot understand why Congress has stood in an extended recess just a few days before we go over the so-called "fiscal cliff."
For the last few months, as our country has inched closer towards this critical financial deadline, I have joined many of my colleagues in urging you to work with the White House to reach a bipartisan agreement that avoids the fiscal cliff and cuts our deficit in a responsible manner by protecting tax cuts for the middle class, preserving Medicare and Social Security, and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share.
President Obama and Democratic leaders in the Senate have continually offered concessions in order to forge a plan that Republicans and Democrats could support to avert the fiscal cliff and cut our long-term federal deficit.
But last week, after trying and failing to pass a proposal that had no chance of being signed into law, you walked away from negotiations and adjourned the House. While I agree with your decision to call the House back into session this Sunday, I share the frustrations already expressed by my constituents and families across our country at your refusal to lead on this issue.
That's why I am urging you today to commit to achieving a bipartisan agreement that will protect seniors, middle class families, and small business owners before the end of the year. The stakes are high and it is critical that the House be a partner for, not an obstacle against, progress on such an important issue for so many hardworking families.
Thank you for your consideration -- I hope that in the days ahead you will help forge a bipartisan consensus on this issue.
My best always,
David N. Cicilline
Member of Congress