REVERE, MA – Today, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-5) was joined by local veterans, seniors, educators, and city officials to speak out against the impossible choice that extremist Republicans are presenting to the American people: devastating cuts or a devastating default. Below are excerpts of their remarks:
Whip Clark on the GOP Taking the American People Hostage:
“As we face unprecedented calamity, Republicans have decided to send Congress home. They want to ignore this crisis all weekend. Just put it out of their minds.
“But you know who cannot ignore it? The single mom who doesn't know if her SNAP benefits will be there next month. The senior who doesn't know if their Social Security check will come through. The soldier on deployment that doesn't know if her pay will be cut off. The veteran who's spending Memorial Day facing the threat of a VA shutdown. The Bay Staters wondering if it's their job on the chopping block. Lives and livelihoods are on the line because MAGA Republicans have chosen to use them, use the American people, as a bargaining chip.
“They openly admit it. They have taken America hostage. Not the White House. Not Congress. Not Democrats. The American people. Our veterans. Our teachers. Our families. Our seniors. The hungry. The sick. It's everyday people who are on the hook for the Republicans recklessness.
“They want the American people to make the impossible choice, accept devastating cuts or suffer a devastating default. The truth is, it's Republicans who need to make a choice.”
Marc Silvestri and Robert Casanta on the Devastating Impact on Veterans:
Silvestri: “It’s a tough weekend to be in the military when you have friends that never made it back. Gold Star families, preparing for the Memorial Day holiday and wondering if food will be put on the table on June 1st or if paychecks are going to hit.
“When that happens and you're in service, you don't have a nest egg to fall back on. You don't have services to go out and get immediately. It's kind of scrambling and scraping together what you can get. The people that defend our country and wear our flag don't need to be the political football any longer.”
Casanta: “I am 75 years old and I live in public housing. Six weeks ago, I had a thyroidectomy for cancer for a cancerous nodule on my thyroid. Two weeks ago, I had a shoulder replacement. I get my care at the VA. I am also a very long term HIV/AIDS survivor. So, I will be impacted on many, many levels.”
Michelle Ervin on GOP Proposed Cuts to Education Funding:
“Our founding fathers knew the price of education, literally and figuratively. Public schools were created to prepare people for democracy. So if our current government continues to cut funding year after year after year and they continue right now … what does that say about how they feel about democracy? And [how] they feel about our future as a society? Education is the foundation of a better future – our city, our state, our country depends on public education. We need to remember to fully fund our schools.”
Vice Mayor Alanna Mallon on the Impact on Families in MA-5:
“Last year in Massachusetts, 1 million of our residents were enrolled in SNAP. That's one in seven residents across the Commonwealth with the COVID-era SNAP benefits expiring, food insecurity after the pandemic is not abating. It is increasing. We see evidence of this each and every day at Food for Free and the desperation of the programs we serve across eastern Massachusetts to increase the amount of food that we supply.
“In Cambridge, we are thought of as one of the wealthiest communities in the Commonwealth. But over 40% of our students are on free and reduced lunch, live in public housing, and need assistance.
“The additional proposed work requirements to SNAP, including moving the requirement from age 49 to 55, will jeopardize the food benefits of 15,000 Massachusetts residents and 1 million people nationwide. These are seniors, their veterans, their families, and our community and children in our public schools.”
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