For Immediate Release


SEIU: Prioritize the Middle Class in Debt Ceiling Negotiations

WASHINGTON - Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), issued the following statement on the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations between Congress and the White House:

“Another week has passed and America is no closer to avoiding economic catastrophe. Every day there are more stories about how disastrous a default would be on small business owners, middle class families and the millions of Americans looking for work.

“But we are no closer this week then last week because too many right-wing politicians are putting their own short term political agenda before the best interests of America and refusing to budge from their cut and gut economic policies.

“The surest way to kill jobs is to make the deep cuts to Medicare and Medicaid they want. The easiest way to hurt our small business job creators is to turn seniors out of nursing homes and put more families into poverty. The surest way to raise unemployment and prolong our economic pain is to default on the full faith and credit of our nation over financial commitments already made.

“By refusing to consider a balanced approach that includes ending spending on tax giveaways, right-wing politicians are asking working people and the middle class to shoulder the entire burden of an economic recovery from a recession they did not create. Instead, it's inconsistent with American values of acting for the common good and lifting people up to step closer to middle class.

“Americans don’t care about posturing for the cameras. They care about creating good middle class jobs. Congress should do what every Congress under President Bush did, raise the debt limit and then get to work on addressing the real economic catastrophe unfolding before our eyes – our unemployment rate and the shrinking middle class.”


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With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers—not just corporations and CEOs—benefit from today's global economy.

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