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Kelly Ayotte Votes Against New Hampshire’s Best Interests In Budget

Senator Kelly Ayotte 2 (Gage Skidmore)

Senator Kelly Ayotte at CPAC in 2013 (Image by Gage Skidmore FLIKR)

As the Senate wrapped up a slew of budget amendment votes Kelly Ayotte’s priorities were on full display, and now she has to begin the difficult work of trying to explain her indefensible votes to her constituents back home.

Below is just a sampling of where Kelly Ayotte voted against New Hampshire’s best interests:

  • Voted against an amendment to prevent companies from getting tax benefits for shipping jobs overseas. Over 106,000 jobs in New Hampshire are at risk of being outsourced
  • Opposed an amendment to adopt the Paycheck Fairness Act to give women more tools to fight pay discrimination.
  • Voted against measures to protect Social Security against privatization and benefit cuts and prevent Medicare from being turned into a voucher program
  • Voted against an amendment that would let young people refinance their student loans, which would help 129,000 borrowers in New Hampshire, and against restoring cuts to the Pell Grant program
  • Opposed a measure to provide two free years of community college by raising revenue through requiring millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share of taxes

Kelly Ayotte’s priorities are clear, and New Hampshire students, seniors families and workers don’t make the list.

“If anyone wasn’t clear about how extreme Kelly Ayotte truly is, they don’t need to look any further than her votes on this budget against New Hampshire students, seniors, families and workers,” said Sadie Weiner, DSCC National Press Secretary. “New Hampshire voters deserve better than Kelly Ayotte’s refusal to stand up for their best interests and they’ll hold her accountable in 2016.”

These are not the priorities of New Hampshire working families.  These are the priorities of the rich, elite 1% who want to take more from the hard working middle class and refuse to pay their fair share.

“From voting to protect tax benefits for companies that outsource jobs to opposing a measure that would let young people refinance their student loans, Kelly Ayotte proved once again that her focus in Washington is looking out for her special interest allies and not the best interests of New Hampshire,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley.

This budget will not help Granite State families, it will only hurt them.  Slashing social programs that low income families rely on, reducing benefits to seniors who are already struggling to pay their bills on a fixed income, and gives more tax breaks to wealthy corporations who skirt paying their fair share in taxes.

It is obvious that Senator Ayotte is more interested in following her out of touch party leadership than doing what is right for New Hampshire families.  She is also setting herself up nicely for a potential GOP Vice President nomination, building a hefty war chest and voting right down party lines.

Fact-Checking Marilinda Garcia

Marilinda Garcia (Gage Skidmore CC FLIKR)

Marilinda Garcia (Gage Skidmore CC FLIKR)

FACT CHECK:  Marilinda Garcia Missing in Action in Legislature

Fact: Marilinda Garcia wants to represent New Hampshire in Washington, but as a state representative she failed to show up to vote in Concord on behalf of her Salem constituents.

Tea Party candidate Marilinda Garcia has been taken to task by New Hampshire reporters for failing to show up and vote in the New Hampshire state legislature.  In fact, Garcia has missed votes on major issues facing the state, like Medicaid expansion and casino gambling.  Over the course of her career, Garcia missed over 20 percent of roll call votes, and over 50% of votes in 2010 alone. [New Hampshire General Court Voting Record]

Annie Kuster, on the other hand, has one of the best voting records in Congress and has been present for 98.9 percent of the votes that took place during her time in Congress.

FACT CHECK:  Marilinda Garcia Misleads Voters on Medicare

Fact: Annie Kuster has never voted to cut Medicare.

In an effort to distract voters from her extreme record, Tea Party candidate Marilinda Garcia falsely claimed that Annie Kuster supports cutting billions from Medicare in order to fund the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  This false attack been consistently debunked by independent fact checkers. In fact, the ACA reduces future overpayments to private health care providers and strengthens Medicare by reducing prescription drug costs for seniors.

Kuster is the only candidate in this race with a record of protecting programs important to New Hampshire seniors, including Medicare and Social Security.  Garcia, on the other hand, voted to “privatize all aspects of Social Security.” [New Hampshire General Court, HCR39, Vote 190, 3/21/12]

FACT CHECK:  Marilinda Garcia Voted Against Fully Funding Veterans Benefits

Fact: Marilinda Garcia has a troubling record of opposing full funding for veterans programs.

In 2007, Tea Party candidate Marilinda Garcia voted against a resolution urging Congress to fully fund veterans’ benefits.  [New Hampshire General Court, HR10, Vote 71, 3/28/07]. And when asked at a recent candidates forum where she would cut the federal budget, Garcia spoke out against requests for increased funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs, despite the fact that Republicans and Democrats in the House overwhelmingly approved a recent funding increase by a vote of 420 to 5.

As a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Kuster has advocated for newly enacted reforms to increase VA resources, hold corrupt officials accountable, and ensure New Hampshire veterans can access medical care faster and closer to home.

FACT CHECK:  Marilinda Garcia Opposes Paycheck Fairness Act

Fact: Marilinda Garcia opposes the Paycheck Fairness Act, and other efforts to support equal pay for equal work.

State representative Marilinda Garcia says she opposes the Paycheck Fairness Act, to help eliminate wage discrimination based on gender. Congresswoman Kuster has a strong record of fighting to level the playing field for Granite State women, and she is a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act.

FACT CHECK:  Marilinda Garcia Wants to Send Doctors to Jail for Performing Medical Procedures to Save a Mother’s Life

Fact: Marilinda Garcia would send doctors to jail for performing abortions – even if the procedure is necessary to save a mother’s life.

In 2008, Garcia voted to make it illegal for doctors to perform an abortion even if the life of the mother is at risk. NH1 actually did a fact check on Garcia’s position, and found that Garcia does indeed support criminalizing doctors who perform abortions, regardless of whether the mother’s life is at risk.

This position is far outside of the mainstream of New Hampshire, and would be devastating for Granite State women and their families. No doctor should ever be sent to jail for attempting to save the life of a mother. But Garcia wants to ban abortions with no exceptions – even in the cases of rape, incest, and saving the life of the mother. She is simply too extreme for New Hampshire.

FACT CHECK:  Marilinda Garcia Misleads Voters on Record on Rail Infrastructure

Fact: Marilinda Garcia claimed she wanted to know whether the proposed commuter rail project was “feasible,” yet voted to repeal the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority when it was conducting the feasibility study for the project. [New Hampshire General Court, HB218, Vote 105, 3/17/11]

Congress Gets Ready To Throw The Federal Workforce Under The Bus!

As the lame duck session is about to begin Federal workers in every department are concerned.  Concerned is to nice a word, they are scared sh*tless! Why because they only conversation that is happening right now in Washington DC is about how they have to cut the Federal Budget.

Many of the GOP are pushing a plan created by Senator Alan Simpson and Former White House Chief of Staff Esrkine Bowles.  The Simpson-Bowles plan would save the government money.  However it is not enough to balance the budget or not stop our mounting debt.   The Simpson-Bowles was not adopted or sent to the US House for a vote do to the fact that the ‘fiscal commission’ could not agree on it.

The Bowles-Simpson commission needed 14 of the 18 votes. It failed on an 11-7 vote, with four Democrats and three Republicans, including (Paul) Ryan, voting no.

While Simpson-Bowles also has drastic reforms to other programs like Social Security healthcare I want to focus on the Federal workers.  Here are a few highlights of the Simpson-Bowles plan as written by Kellie Lunney at GovExec.com

Extended pay freeze: The panel recommended a three-year civilian pay freeze across government. The commission estimated the freeze would save $20.4 billion in 2015. The plan also freezes lawmakers’ pay. Obama and lawmakers extended the current two-year pay freeze at least until the end of March, when the continuing resolution expires. Obama wants to give feds a 0.5 percent pay bump when Congress passes a budget next year. But that assumes that one, Congress will pass a budget and two, lawmakers won’t vote to extend the current federal pay freeze.

Smaller government workforce: The Simpson-Bowles report recommends shrinking the government rolls by 10 percent by hiring two new workers for every three employees who leave service. The commission claims such a reduction would save $13.2 billion in 2015.

Increase employees’ health care contributions: The panel suggested adopting a voucher plan and slowing the growth of federal contributions to the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program.

Review military and civilian pension systems: Simpson-Bowles recommended creating a task force to look at changing the pension system for feds and eligible retired service members. One possibility the commission suggests is increasing the amount feds contribute to their pensions. It’s worth noting that Obama and several lawmakers also support making feds pay more for their defined retirement benefit.

So to recap, they have created a plan that starts by cutting workers pay. Mind you these are the same workers who have not seen a pay raise in over three years already.

They want to increase their workload by reducing the number of people to do the job.  So the lines at your local Social Security office are not going to be getting shorter any time soon.  Make employees pay more for health insurance.

They are planning on using the same failed logic and create a voucher program for the Federal Employees Health Plan. This is similar to the plans they are suggesting for Medicare and Social Security that sound great but fail the reality check.

Lastly they are going to stick it to our bravest men and women.  The same men and women who fought to preserve our way of life and the Government that is now trying to hose them.  Changing the retirement system right before or just after someone retires is absolutely wrong.

Congress is once again looking to take from the workers to pay for their mistakes.  They need to stop using the Federal workers as their own personal piggy banks and start working together to find real solutions, not temporary bandaids that hurt workers.  Real solutions start with changes on every level. Increasing revenue, making discrete and calculated cuts not broad base hack jobs, and working together to make these decisions.

People always say we should run the government more like business, well Enron was once a successful business once too.

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