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Blog: Rep. Miller Holds Telephone Town Hall to Update Seniors on the Debt Ceiling Bill


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This Thursday, Congressman Miller held a Telephone Town Hall with thousands of seniors across the district to provide an update on the debt ceiling deal that was passed by Congress this week and what might happen to critical services, like Medi-Cal, Medicare and Social Security.

Listen to a recording of the call here.

Below is Rep. Miller's Statement on the Debt Ceiling Vote:

"Regrettably, I cannot support the debt ceiling budget deal in the House today. I say regrettably because neither I nor my Democratic colleagues want to see the United States default on its debts.

"And, of course, there was no reason to ever get this close to default. The default crisis was politically manufactured.

"Congress has been taken over by the right wing of the Republican Party, the Tea Party wing that has a radical agenda to end Medicare, cut Social Security and slash health care for the elderly and the poor. Their goal is not deficit reduction. But deficit reduction is being used as the weapon to cut these critical commitments that are so fundamental to our society.

"They used the debt ceiling to hold the economic well-being of the American people hostage to get their way.

"In the end, they did not get their way, because we have protected Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid -- for now. But they have done great damage by holding the economy hostage this long, and they are doing long-term damage by having negotiated this bill today. We were not able to prevent them from extracting draconian cuts to critical services that help our economy.

"This bill will set in place long-term cuts to the economy that will shrink our Gross Domestic Product and raise unemployment. This bill will greatly reduce America's ability to out-compete the rest of the world. It will greatly diminish our ability to make basic investments in education, in research and innovation, in our economic growth and competitive spirit. This bill will make it more difficult for America to lead.

"All of which means fewer Americans will be working because of this bill.

"But this bill lets the wealthiest people in our country get off scot-free. They will not contribute one dime.

"That is a tragedy of enormous proportions.

"At a time when Americans are struggling to climb out of the recession, conservative and liberal economists alike have said that we need to keep investing in the economy, not pull out.

"This bill was never about deficit reduction. This bill was about pursuing a radical agenda. And as long as the Republicans control Congress, this radical agenda to end Medicare and Social Security and withdraw critical government services that create jobs will remain a threat to the American people."

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