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Democratic Groups Pressure McCaskill To Stand Firm On Entitlements

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

Lawmakers are hoping to put together a compromise before the end of the year to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff –a series of tax increases and spending cuts, which some economists say would trigger another recession.

But some Democratic groups are pressuring Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill to keep entitlements off the bargaining table.

Nearly 50 retired teachers, union members and health care workers assembled at a St. Louis Social Security office Monday, holding up signs like “hands off my social security" and “instead of war, invest in people.”

"We’re calling on Claire McCaskill to continue to champion the programs that millions of Missourians rely on day in and day out," Minister Roosevelt Broadnax of Greater New Hope Baptist Church said, rallying the crowd. "The politicians were elected to represent all of Americans, not just the 2 percent.”


Altogether, the different organizations walked over 500 signed letters to McCaskill’s office on Delmar. The petition urged her to preserve social security, Medicare and Medicaid – and to raise taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent.

“There are millions who depend on programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security,"said Alexandra Townsend, who helped organize the gathering. "And cuts to those programs would hurt families horribly so.”

McCaskill’s office responded by saying she looks forward to reaching a compromise that doesn’t harm entitlements.

In a written statement, McCaskill spokesperson Drew Pusateri said:

"Claire just won a hard-fought reelection race in which her commitment to Missouri's seniors, and her opposition to privatizing Social Security and Medicare, were front and center. She looks forward to keeping up her fight to get our fiscal house in order, without handing Social Security over to Wall Street, or turning Medicare into a voucher program—and she hopes the Republicans in Congress who've attacked these vital programs are just as willing to find that commonsense compromise."

Townsend says her public sector union also coordinated similar demonstrations at the offices of Republican Senator Roy Blunt and other Representatives.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

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