‘The ACTION’ Urges The US House To Vote YES On Tax Relief For The Middle Class

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Senate Rings In New Year with Responsible Bipartisan Bill Extending Tax Relief for All But the Wealthiest Americans That Make Over $400,000 a Year

All Eyes Now On Congressmen Bass and Guinta: Will They Help Restore Now Expired Middle Class Tax Relief by Immediately Passing the Senate Bill — Or Will They Keep Insisting That Millionaires Get Another Tax Break Before They Agree to Put $2,200 Back in the Pockets of the Middle Class?

The ball is now officially in the court of U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass, U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta and the Republican-led Congress as early New Year’s Day the U.S. Senate passed – with broad bipartisan support – a responsible bill to avert the tax portion of the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’.  By a 89-8 margin, a bill was approved that would avoid a $2,200 middle class tax hike scheduled to take place on January 1 by extending tax relief for all but the richest individuals making more than $400,000 a year and families making more than $450,000. Under the legislation, these wealthy Americans would see their tax rates go from 35% back to Clinton-era level of 39.6 percent when the nation saw one of its greatest periods of economic prosperity.  Additionally, the Senate bill extends jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed (which expired Friday) through the end of 2013. This bill, meanwhile, holds the line on taxes for the middle-class and extends unemployment insurance for those in need.

Dwight Haynes of Concord, NH – a retired Methodist minister and volunteer with The Action, a joint project of Granite State Progress and New Hampshire Citizens Alliance for Action, on Rep. Bass in particular: “Charlie Bass has always described himself as a moderate Republican and this vote gives him a chance to make that his legacy as he prepares to leave the House. With this vote, Rep. Bass allow middle class families to keep   $2,200 MORE in their pockets. Charlie Bass’s family has advocated a moderate and fiscally responsible Republicanism for nearly a century. Voting for this bill is the responsible thing to do.”

Congressmen Bass and Guinta, consider your legacy: Polls Show Most Americans Want Wealthiest to Pay Fair Share and Will Hold Republicans Responsible If Nation Dives Off ‘Fiscal Cliff’

§  CNBC, Dec. 21: Majority of Wealthy Support Taxing Themselves: Poll

§  CNN, Nov. 28: New Poll: Majority support taxing wealthier Americans

§  Rasmussen, Dec. 27: No ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal? 44% Blame GOP, 36% Obama

§  Reuters, Dec.27: Americans blame Republicans more than Democrats for “fiscal cliff”: Reuters/Ipsos poll

§  NBC News, Nov.13: If government careens off fiscal cliff, GOP to shoulder blame

ABOUT THE ACTION: The Action NH is a joint project of NH Citizens Alliance for Action and Granite State Progress, and part of a national grassroots movement that demands Congress end the Bush-era tax cuts for the richest 2%—those making more than $250,000 per year. The Action is for critical investments that create and sustain jobs.

The Action to urge lame ducks Bass, Guinta to get back to work

Here is your chance to encourage your Congressional Representatives to get back to work and the Bush Tax Cuts.

Activists working with The Action, a joint project of Granite State Progress and the New Hampshire Citizens Alliance for Action, will demonstrate outside the Concord office of lame duck Rep. Charlie Bass and the Manchester office of lame duck Rep. Frank Guinta tomorrow, Friday the 28th, to demand that the House get back to work to stop the country from going over the fiscal cliff and protect the middle class by maintaining the current tax rates for 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses.

The House, including lame ducks Bass and Guinta, remain on vacation while the Senate and Pres. Obama have returned to DC to try to find a solution to the on-going uncertainty created by the so-called ‘fiscal cliff.’ Activists from the Action will be urging Bass and Guinta to get back to work and help the president and Senate find a solution.  After the failure of Speaker Boehner’s ‘Plan B,’ the GOP leadership of the House has failed to offer any solutions while the Senate passed a bill over the summer to protect the middle-class. Speaker Boehner has refused to bring this bill to a vote.

The event will include a short speaking program and rally, followed by the building of snowmen to hold signs outside of the offices long after the action ends.

Who:             Activists with The Action, a joint project of NH Citizens’ Alliance for Action and Granite State Progress 

What:            Demonstration to urge Bass and Guinta back to work on fiscal cliff 

When:            Friday December 28th 12:00 noon  

Where:           Office of Congressman Bass, 114 North Main Street, Concord

Office of Congressman Guinta, 33 Lowell Street, Manchester

Congressmen Guinta and Bass Need To Support The 98%

Tammy Siekmann is the chair of the Londonderry Democrats

An guest editorial by Tammy Siekmann

Broad agreement is something that has been sadly missing in Washington in the last several years. Members of Congress in both the House and the Senate, officials in the Obama Administration from the president to the secretaries of State and Defense, the nation’s economists and business leaders and citizens’ groups from across the political spectrum all agree – raising taxes on 98% of all Americans and 97% of small businesses would hobble the recovery and could drive the US back into recession.

That’s why I’m involved in a grassroots movement that’s urging Congressmen Charlie Bass and Frank Guinta to support an up-or-down vote on a bill currently waiting for a vote in the House that would keep in place the current tax rates on the middle-class and keep us away from the fiscal cliff. We’re called The Action and we believe that we can raise the necessary revenue to begin spending down the debt and to protect middle-class taxpayers by raising taxes on the top two percent of taxpayers.

The Senate has already passed the bill that would that keep tax cuts in place for the 98%. As Pres. Obama put it last month, “(l)et’s begin our work with where we agree. If we can get a few House Republicans to agree as well, I’ll sign this bill as soon as the House sends it my way.”

(CNN.com “GOP divide over Obama tax plan goes public,” Tom Cohen, November 28, 2012 http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/28/politics/fiscal-cliff/index.html).

While partisan posturing in Washington is hardly new or novel, we believe that this presents a chance to provide revenue to start paying down the debt and to strengthen the recovery during the holiday season and into the new year. Republicans want to keep middle-class taxes low and to find solutions to the deficit. Democrats want to keep middle-taxes low and to find solutions to the deficit. The bill the Senate passed does both – and everyone agrees.

This makes the debate about the fiscal cliff all the more frustrating.  Can things really be so bad in Washington that something that everyone agrees on is still held hostage to partisan wrangling? We don’t think it is, because we believe that, especially at the holidays, people can put agendas aside to work for the common good.

Reps. Bass and Guinta have a chance, before they leave Congress, to help set the tone for the future by putting behind the paralytic partisanship that has crippled the current Congress and to make clear that they truly support low taxes on the middle-class and believe we need to take serious steps to reduce the debt. Both have spoken passionately about these issues and now they have a chance to demonstrate it with their votes.

The nation simply cannot afford to double down on tax cuts for the super-rich will cost the rest of us $1 trillion. If we spend that money on tax cuts for the wealthy, we will not be able to provide the basic building blocks of opportunity to that make it possible for average, working people to get ahead. Pres. Obama made wealthiest Americans pay a little more – their fair share – a central theme of his campaign. This theme won him New Hampshire’s electoral votes and a second term.

If we spend that money on tax cuts for the wealthy, budget shortfalls will force into overcrowded classrooms and we won’t be able to ensure our children are educated for the jobs and challenges of the future. Tax cuts for the wealthy means fewer Pell Grants, fewer Head Starts and more kindergarteners shoved into crowded classrooms.

We have a choice to make. We can choose to be a country where everyone pays their fair share or we can be a nation in which there are the very rich, and then there is everyone else.  It’s a choice between the failed, top-down policies of the past and growing the economy from the middle out by investing in education, research, innovation and technology.  I hope that Congressmen Frank Guinta and Charlie Bass will realize this – and support the middle-class by supporting an up-or-down vote on tax cuts for the 98%.

Tammy Siekmann is town chair for the Londonderry Democrats

 

THE ACTION, a Grassroots Organization Delivers Petitions To Congressman Bass

A grassroots organization called ‘THE ACTION’ is a movement by people who demanding an end to the Bush Era Tax Cuts to those making more that $250,000 dollars aka the 2%. Today they focused their actions on Congressman Charlie Bass.

Congressman Bass may have lost his re-election bid, but he is still representing us in Washington as the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations begin. Today, activists delivered a petition urging Bass to support an up-or-down vote on continued tax relief for 98% of Americans and 97% of businesses and sang Christmas carols at the Nashua office of Rep. Charlie Bass in Nashua.

A ‘discharge petition’ is currently being circulated in the House of Representatives and would give the House a chance for an up-or-down vote on a $2,000 tax cut for 98% of Americans.  Voters across the state have signed a petition urging Rep. Bass – who has long advocated for low taxes and middle-class economic health – to demonstrate his support for both low taxes and the middle class by signing the discharge petition and voting in support of the Senate bill.

Pres. Obama has advocated starting the process of getting the nation’s budget house in order with this measure. “Let’s begin our work with where we agree,” the president said, observing that the Senate has already passed the bill and that both parties agree that increasing middle-class taxes would hobble the recovery.

“If we can get a few House Republicans to agree as well, I’ll sign this bill as soon as the House sends it my way.”
(CNN.com “GOP divide over Obama tax plan goes public,”  Tom Cohen, November 28, 2012).

We need to bring more attention to the obstructionism that is currently occurring the US House.  We need a truly bi-partisan approach to solving this fiscal dilemma.  We all can agree that our country has a fiscal dilemma, the difference only seems to be how to resolve this dilemma.

Congressman Bass should listen to his constituents by voting to end the Bush Era Tax cuts to those people who are making over $250,000 dollars.

Congressman Guinta’s Politics Are What Are Gridlocking Congress

Do you want to know why our Congress is gridlocked?  It is because of people like (soon to be former) Congressman Guinta.  In conversation about the possibility of increasing taxes on the people who make $250,000 or more,  he told the NH Union Leader

“I cannot see a scenario where I vote to raise rates”

Really Congressman, there is no senario where you would raise taxes?  The is the TEA Party mentality that has gridlocked our Congress for two years now.   This could also be why Congressman Guinta will not be returning to Washington DC in January.

At least Congressman Bass is willing to consider the idea (though his is not likely to support it).  He signed a letter to fellow members stating that

“all options for mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues must be on the table.”

Congressman Guinta is trying (poorly) to turn this back on the President.

“Shame that the President has positioned this as raising taxes on a certain class of people rather than talking about cutting taxes for the middle class.”

The problem that Congressman Guinta does not seem to understand is that we are talking about taxes on the ‘middle class’.  If we go over the so called ‘fiscal cliff’ then the middle class would see an increase in their taxes by $2000 dollars.

Even seven term Congressman Bass can see the writing on the wall.  The President wants the Republicans to agree to the tax cuts for the middle class and increases on the wealthy. If the House Republicans do not agree Bass knows what will happen.

“the alternative is have everybody’s taxes go up and then the President comes back in late January and says, ‘I’m going to offer the American people the biggest tax cut in American history,’ and it’s going to be exactly the tax cut he wants (for the middle class) now.”

Personally I am not in favor of this idea (though it would be as effective) and here is why. If we let the tax cuts expire and the push a tax cut for the middle class then all of the Norquist Pledge zombies can still walk around saying ‘I did not agree to a tax increase and stand by my pledge.’  No I want to see them actually WORK TOGETHER with the Democrats and make something happen.

The only people who are not willing to compromise are these TEA Party / Norquist Pledge Republicans who oppose any tax increase no matter what cuts come with them.  This is wrong!  I hope we see a deal before the end of the year, but I want the President to stand firm on his 2% tax hike.  Even if that means I have to jump of the imaginary, completely fabricated, fiscal cliff.

New Grassroots Organization Called ‘The Action’ Launches Petition For A Vote On Middle Class Tax Cuts

Grassroots organization launches online petition urging Congressmen Bass, Guinta to do their jobs for 98%

Grassroots  group The Action plans to deliver petitions to lame ducks next week

Concord – Congressmen Charlie Bass (NH-2) and Frank Guinta (NH-1) may have lost their re-election bids, but they are still representing us in Washington as the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations begin. Today saw the release of an online petition urging Bass and Guinta to support efforts in the House to bring to a vote a bill, already passed by the Senate, which would maintain tax cuts for 98% of all Americans and 97% of small businesses. Activists will be delivering these petitions to later in the month.

Taylor Coots, state director for The Action (www.theaction.org), the group organizing the petition drive explained the effort.

“An extension for the middle class tax cut is through the Senate, but Speaker Boehner won’t bring it to the House floor for an up or down vote.  It is high time Congressmen Bass and Guinta do the right thing, break with the Speaker, and put New Hampshire middle class families ahead of Washington politics.”

A ‘discharge petition’ is currently being circulated in the House of Representatives and would give the House a chance for an up-or-down vote on a $2,000 tax cut for 98% of Americans.  Voters in New Hampshire are urging our congressmen – both of whom have long advocated for low taxes and middle-class economic health – to demonstrate their support for both low taxes and the middle class by signing the discharge petition and voting in support of the Senate bill.

Pres. Obama has advocated starting the process of getting the nation’s budget house in order with this measure. “Let’s begin our work with where we agree,” the president said, observing that the Senate has already passed the bill and that both parties agree that increasing middle-class taxes would hobble the recovery. “If we can get a few House Republicans to agree as well, I’ll sign this bill as soon as the House sends it my way.”

(CNN.com “GOP divide over Obama tax plan goes public,” Tom Cohen, November 28, 2012 http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/28/politics/fiscal-cliff/index.html).

ABOUT THE ACTION: The Action is a grassroots movement that demands Congress end the Bush-era tax cuts for the richest 2%—those making more than $250,000 per year. The Action is for critical investments that create and sustain jobs.  New Hampshire Citizens Alliance for Action is leading the charge in New Hampshire.

Working Families And The AFL-CIO Tell Congress To Protect Our Future

Working Families Tell Congress To Protect Medicare, Medicaid And Social Security Eliminate Tax Cuts For Wealthiest 2 Percent

Activists kick off nationwide Lame Duck accountability campaign, close to 100 events planned  http://www.aflcio.org/ProtectOurFuture

Image from AFL-CIO Facebook

(Washington, DC, Nov. 8)–Less than 48 hours after the polls closed, working families are in communities across the country calling on their members of Congress to protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and to end George Bush’s tax cuts for the richest 2 percent.

Retirees, activists and members of progressive and faith communities will host close to 100 events targeting members of Congress during the upcoming Lame Duck session.  Events will take place outside members’ offices, health clinics, Social Security offices, construction sites and other community locations. In Nashville, Tennessee, working families are gathering for a roundtable with Congressman Jim Cooper to thank him for his pledge to protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. In Missoula, Montana, working families are marching to their congressional office.

The AFL-CIO also joined with progressive allies today to run a full-page ad in theWashington Post calling on President Obama and Congress to support Social Security, health care, education, infrastructure, and job creation – while asking everyone, including the wealthiest, to pay their fair share.  The full ad can be seen here:bitly.com/WCEG4G

“Though the election confetti is still on the street, working families are already mobilizing to hold their elected leaders accountable,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “The people advocating for benefit cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are the same folks who want to cut taxes for the richest 2 percent. With working families across the country still struggling, we can’t afford to pay for any more tax breaks for those who need them the least.”

According to an AFL-CIO election night survey of the general public conducted by Hart Research Associates, by a 64% to 17% margin, voters say we should maintain Social Security and Medicare benefits, and address the deficit by increasing taxes on the rich, not by reducing Social Security and Medicare benefits.

For a list of events, see:http://local.americawantstowork.org/protectourfuture

Beware of Lame Ducks

Politico’s like myself toss around the term “lame duck session” like everyone know what that means.  Do you know what a ‘lame duck’ session means? Just in case you do not know let me explain it very quickly.  A ‘lame duck’ session is the time between an election and the when newly elected representatives are inaugurated and seated.

Lame duck sessions are some politicians last chance to get something done before they leave office.  This could also be the chance to change their opinion on a bill because they have already lost the election and they will not be held to that vote.

This is why we must be very cautious with this upcoming lame duck session.  There will no doubt be changes in the U.S. House and possibly in the U.S. Senate.  America is at a crossroads.  When our current Legislators go back to Congress they have a monumental task in front of them and that is the Budget Control Act of 2011.  Now it is commonly called Sequestration.  These force budget cuts could have huge impact on the national economy and will hit New Hampshire hard.

Senator Shaheen called for bipartisan support to fix the sequestration issue.

“It’s not a deficit reduction plan. We need to see some action in Congress, and we need to see it this year. When we get back, I hope people will be focused on this in a way that will help us make progress.”

Senator Ayotte agrees,

“From the Pentagon to New Hampshire’s defense suppliers, there is broad agreement that sequestration would be devastating to our military, our national security, and our economy.”

So while the Senate is working to find real bipartisan solutions the US House is stuck in gridlock.  Both Congressional Houses are blaming each other for locking up legislation.  Congressman Guinta stated in his ‘Frankly Speaking’ editorial (8-2-12)

“Instead of waiting until November, Congress needs to act now. Liberals, conservatives and independents alike agree these matters all carry profound consequences for our economy.”

Here is an idea, quit blaming each other and start blaming yourselves. There are more issues on the horizon than just the budget control act.  The livelihood of the US Postal Service is at risk as well. Yet we do not hear Congressman Guinta talking about the bill that has stalled in the House to correct their overfunding problem.

Bipartisanship is alive and well in the Senate“, Shaheen said, “which managed to pass many significant pieces of legislation that have since languished in the House of Representatives, including reform of the U.S. Postal Service and an overhaul of the farm bill.”

We need Congressman Bass and Congressman Guinta to get back to the US House and help move some of this legislation.  We also need them to understand that there are also programs we need their help to protect from sequestration, like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  Take three minutes to send a letter to your Congressman not to sacrifice these programs in the upcoming lame duck session.  Help to ensure these cuts will not effect the economic growth we have gained over the last three years.

 

Ann Kuster’s Remarks After Being Elected To US House Of Representatives

Annie Kuster Elected to the United States House of Representatives

Copyright Rob Strong @2012 Rob Strong
Image via Facebook

CONCORD, N.H. – Tonight, Annie Kuster was elected to the United States House of Representatives. Following her victory, Annie addressed supporters at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord. Her full remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below:

*****

Thank you!

Tonight, New Hampshire proved our independence once again!

I want to start by congratulating Congressman Bass on a strong campaign.

He and I don’t see eye-to-eye on most issues, but I respect him a great deal and wish him and his family all the best.

The truth is, this campaign wasn’t about him and it wasn’t about me.

It was about you – the people of the Second District – and the kind of future we want for our families, for our state, and for our country.

And tonight, with your votes, you said loud and clear that New Hampshire wants to move forward!

You proved that in the Granite State, we’re ready to put politics aside and do what’s right for the middle class and small businesses; for students and seniors; for veterans and hardworking families all across this district.

You proved that there are thousands of voters who are looking for leaders who can bring people together to get things done.

And you proved that a grassroots, people-powered campaign can overcome the special interests, overcome the status quo, and overcome the odds!

To our tireless volunteers who poured their hearts and souls into this campaign – tonight is your night.

You made the calls, you knocked the doors, you wrote the letters – you made this all possible.

I can’t thank you enough for the incredible campaign you built, but I can promise you this: I will bring the same grit and passion to Congress that you brought to this campaign.

So many people have given so much to this effort, but I want to acknowledge a few who have traveled this road with me for the past several years.

My husband Brad has been at my side every step of the way – during this campaign, and for the last 28 years.

Zach, my faithful driver; and Travis – I am so proud of you both. You inspire me to work hard for a better future for all our young people.

And then there’s my campaign family:

Our fearless leader, Garrick; our fundraiser, Emily; our superstars in finance and communications; and the best field team ever – you are amazing!

To our earliest supporters; to our A-Team volunteers and our Angel donors; and to the hosts of hundreds of house parties across this district – you stepped up when your state and country needed you, and I am so grateful for your support.

I also want to thank the many Republicans and Independents who crossed party lines to support our campaign; and who know that we can only solve the challenges we face by working together.

That’s the approach to politics I learned from my parents. And as I stand here tonight, I can’t help but think about my mom and dad. I wish they could be here to celebrate with us.

They spent their lives fighting for liberty, equality, opportunity, and fairness – and I know they would be proud of the campaign we ran.

My great-grandmother was a suffragette. My grandmother didn’t earn the right to vote until she was married with three children. And my mother ran for this seat in 1980, at a time when very few women were running for public office.

That’s why I’m especially proud to join Maggie Hassan, Senator Shaheen, Senator Ayotte, and hopefully Carol Shea-Porter in representing the people of this great state!

I come from a long line of strong women who taught me to chase my dreams. We’ve come an awful long way since my grandmother cast her first ballot, but we still have a lot more work to do.

And so in her memory, I promise that I will work every single day to move this country forward and get our government working for us again!

We all know that’s going to take commonsense and compromise. So here’s my commitment to you:

I will work with anybody, from any party, on any issue if I believe it’s in the best interest of our state.

And I will always stand up for what I believe in.

I will stand up for the hardworking middle class families I’ve met all across this district.

I will stand up for good jobs in our communities, affordable health care for our families, and the best education for our children.

I will stand up for equal rights, civil rights, and a woman’s right to choose.

And I will stand up for a government that reflects the decency, integrity, and generosity of the people in this room, and the people I have met all across New Hampshire.

These are the values we stood up for in this campaign. These are the values we all share. And these are the values I will fight for every single day in Congress.

I am truly humbled by your vote of confidence, and I will do my best to live up to it for as long as I have the privilege of serving New Hampshire.

Thank you so very much.

At Granite State Debate, Kuster Stands Out As Moderate Voice for Middle Class, Seniors

Manchester, N.H. – Annie Kuster once again stood out as a moderate voice for New Hampshire families and seniors at tonight’s Granite State Debate, while Congressman Bass struggled to justify his record of voting against the interests of middle class families.

As she has done throughout this campaign, Annie demonstrated that she is willing to put politics aside and work with both parties to do what’s right for New Hampshire’s seniors, middle class families, and small businesses.

“Annie once again proved that she has the right priorities and the right approach to help move our state and country forward,” said Rob Friedlander, Communications Director for Annie Kuster. “In Congress, she will bring Republicans and Democrats together to pass policies that will create jobs, grow the economy, and protect seniors and the middle class.”

“That stood in stark contrast to Congressman Bass, who reminded voters that he has the wrong priorities for New Hampshire. Congressman Bass failed to defend his record of voting for tax breaks for big oil and gas companies, tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and the radical Ryan budget that ends Medicare as we know it. Congressman Bass struggled in tonight’s debate for the same reason he’s struggled throughout this campaign: he is out of touch with lives and needs of New Hampshire’s middle class families and seniors.”