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Tell the Democratic leadership: Don't cave to Republican hostage-taking

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Tell President Obama and the Democratic leadership:

“Don’t cave to Congressional Republicans’ hostage taking by accepting budget cuts that will harm the poorest and most vulnerable Americans. Hold the line: No cuts, no concessions, no bad deals.”

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    Tell the Democratic leadership: Don't cave to Republican hostage-taking

    Congress is in full-blown meltdown. House Republicans are in the midst of a major battle over who will lead their caucus, increasing the chances of a government shutdown.

    After Speaker John Boehner’s recent bombshell announcement that he’s retiring from Congress, far-right Republicans forced Boehner’s hand-picked successor Kevin McCarthy out of the speaker race.

    Nobody can predict who will ultimately fill this leadership vacuum in the House, but one thing is clear: Newly-emboldened extremists will use looming showdowns over the budget, highway funding and the debt ceiling to push for radical cuts to the social safety net, including Social Security, Medicare and food stamps, along with gutting of vital environmental and financial regulations.

    And all too often, President Obama and corporate Democrats in Congress such as Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Steny Hoyer have shown willingness to make a deal giving away extreme and unacceptable concessions to right-wing Republicans in order to avoid a government shutdown or debt default.

    With the most extreme elements in the Republican party driving the agenda in the House, this is the time to lay down markers and tell President Obama and Democratic leadership to hold the line and not cave to hostage-taking.

    Tell the Democratic leadership: Don't cave to Republican hostage-taking.

    Republicans in Congress know that shutdown threats and fabricated crises can be an effective strategy for getting concessions and compromises that they wouldn’t be able to get otherwise. Cruel and heartless cuts to basic social safety net provisions like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps, and weakening environmental regulations that protect our health and the climate and financial regulations that prevent even worse abuses by Wall Street, are always on the Republican shutdown menu.

    And if the Republicans manage to win concessions from the corporate wing of the Democratic Party, recent history shows that they’ll be nearly impossible to reverse in future spending battles. That’s why Republicans are willing to essentially point a gun at our most basic and critical government services, as well as the health of our economy, in order to get them.

    The truth is, Democrats are holding all of the cards in this fight, and will only lose if they cave. The open secret in political circles is that Republican leadership desperately want to avoid a shutdown, because they know they’ll be the ones to pay the price and receive the blame from the American public. That’s what happened in 1994 and as recently as 2013, the last time Republicans forced a shutdown.

    That’s why Democrats have no reason to give into this cynical negotiating strategy. Not only would it result in extreme right-wing policies, but it would also validate Republican hostage-taking and encourage them to do it every time.

    We need a zero-tolerance policy. Democrats need to hold the line and show Republicans in Congress that hostage-taking and shutdown threats are not how democracy works.

    Tell the Democratic leadership: Don't cave to Republican hostage-taking.

    Thank you for your activism.