AUDIO: Lincoln Davis Tells Tennessee’s Congressional Republicans to Stop Playing Politics and Avoid Pushing Constituents Over Fiscal Cliff

This morning Congressman Lincoln Davis held a statewide press call to urge Tennessee members of Congress to act in the best interests of the middle-class Tennesseans they claim to represent. Congressman Davis was joined by veteran, Bob Tuke, small business owner, Earik Beann, and Tennessee State Director for The Action, Justin Wilkins.

Listen:

http://tnca.org/audio/davis-fiscalcall-31dec2012.mp3

Congress Lincoln Davis Statement (partial) [Full statement at 09:50 – 13:58]:

“…We have members of Congress today who have become emboldened and who, I believe, are committed to what Grover Norquist believes is best for America than what we, the taxpayers of this county, believe. So as a result of that, I’m sad that our members of Congress, especially in the House, have not been willing to sign a discharge petition…of all the discharge petitions that were entered when I served in Congress, and any that we can research and find in the past, I believe this is the most important discharge petition ever offered for members of Congress to sign to bring immediately to the floor and pass with an up or down vote on whether or not we extend tax cuts for the middle-class….It’s time for our members of Congress in Tennessee to do what’s right for Tennesseans, to do what’s right for America, what’s right for their constituents….and not to sign a pledge to do what somebody tells them to do.”

Bob Tuke Statement [07:05 – 09:10]:

“I serve on the Board of Operation Stand Down Nashville, which helps veterans find jobs and housing, obtain job training, etc. It relies heavily on Federal grants because our country feels it is important to take care of our veterans not just when they deploy, but when they come home too. This is one of those things as a country we’re paying for — at least most of us in the middle class. Right now if you’re a part of the richest 2%, protecting our veterans is one of those things they’re not pulling their weight on.

If Rep. Fincher, DesJarlais, Blackburn, Black, Fincher, Flieschmann, Duncan and Roe refuse to ask the richest 2% to pay their fair share, the very services our veterans rely upon are jeopardized. The middle class already pays their taxes for services like veteran job training, VA health care, etc. I’m asking Rep. DesJarlais to stop playing politics in D.C. and start focusing on the people in Tennessee.”

The House-passed Republican budget would have cut the Veterans Administration budget by $11 billion. In general, they say we can’t afford a high quality health care system for the men and women who have risked their lives for their country. They want to cut community colleges and other job training and education programs that help our nation’s veterans forge a path to civilian life.

I’m asking Senator Corker, Senator Alexander and Tennessee Republican Representatives to stop talking about how they support veterans and start showing it by protecting veterans benefits and ending the Bush Tax cuts for the wealthy 2% and extending middle class tax cuts now in the House.”

Earik Beann Statement [04:55 – 06:45]:

“I’ve lived in Franklin, TN now for over a year with my wife Laura. When I moved here I brought with me a small business I started 15 years ago, a software technology company, Wave59. and Our small business serves is based right her in Franklin and is asking Rep. Marsha Blackburn to please keep the middle class from being pushed over the Fiscal Cliff, sign the discharge petition that extends middle class tax cuts for 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses like mine

I want Representative Blackburn to know that we don’t make hiring decisions based on our tax bracket. We make decisions based on whether we have customers. The biggest decisions are based on our projected direction of growth – do we expect our customers to continue buying our products. If taxes go up on our customers, they have less money to spend with us. Period.

Any real small business owner will tell you they don’t need tax cuts to make their businesses grow, they need customers. That’s why passing the middle class tax cuts immediately is what’s important. If they extend them only to those making more than $250,000 they are perpetuating these businesses unfair advantage – giving them extra cash on hand that makes it harder for real small businesses to compete. If they extend it for us, it means we have more customers.

As a small business owner I’m asking Rep Blackburn and the rest of the TN delegation to stop blocking the middle class tax cut extension before they push the middle class over the Fiscall cliff. Stop putting millionaires ahead of the middle class: sign the discharge petition and vote now to extend middle class tax cuts for the middle class and small businesses like mine.”

Justin Wilkins Statement [02:15 – 04:25]:

“Republicans Chose Millionaires Over the Middle Class.   Republicans had a choice – stand with the American people or with the wealthiest. They chose to risk our country’s economic security and force an even larger burden onto the middle class.

Tomorrow, middle class families stand to lose $2,000 from their paychecks and we want to make it clear on this call today that all Rep. Roe, Duncan, Flieschmann, DesJarlais, Black, Blackburn and Fincher had to do to avoid a $2,000 tax hike on middle class families, was to stop putting politics before the people, and millionaires before the middle class: sign the discharge petition in the House that brings to a vote the middle class tax cut act extension… which already passed the Senate, the President already agreed to sign.   Instead of doing this, they stalled, blamed, put u p a plan B that gave more tax cuts to the rich while eliminating them for students…

All the Republicans had to do was choose to put the middle class before their millionaires.  While Senator Corker is playing the blame game, he’s forgetting that this is a legislative issue – and that we are seeing us go over the Fiscal Cliff because Senator Corker, and House Republicans have decided to  put millionaires before the middle class.

Showing yet again, that they rather go over the Fiscal Cliff and see the middle class and most vulnerable in our country suffer, before asking even the least bit more of the richest 2% to pull their weight and pay just like the rest of us.”

The Action – TN and Tennessee Citizen Action is one of over 150 national, state and local organizations part of The Action – a grassroots movement calling for the end of the Bush-era tax breaks for the richest 2 percent that have for too long shortchanged critical investments that create and sustain jobs.  December 1 marked the first major national day of action of the movement, with over 100 events taking place in 30 states pressuring Members of Congress to put middle class before millionaires. (see www.TheAction.org and www.tnca.org)

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