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Congressional Super Committee

WHEREAS, the August 3rd 'Debt Ceiling Agreement' between the Obama Administration and Congressional Republicans and Democrats represented a desperate compromise in order to avoid the collapse of the federal government's financial credibility; and,

WHEREAS, part of this mixed bag of positive and negative provisions was the creation of a congressional 'Super Committee" that punted on certain budget cuts and taxation adjustments, giving this committee the task of reaching further agreements for consideration; and,

WHEREAS, this 'Super Committee' is composed of 3 Democrats and 3 Republicans from the House of Representatives as well as 3 Democrats and 3 Republicans from the Senate requiring a majority of at least 7 votes for any recommendations; and,

WHEREAS, the Committee is charged with finding up to $1.5 trillion in additional federal budgetary savings and cuts as recommendations to Congress by November 23, 2011; and,

WHEREAS, the Congress must consider such recommendations and vote by a simple majority without amendments and with limited debate by December 23, 2011; and,

WHEREAS, as part of the 'Debt Ceiling Agreement', a legislative trigger of $ 1.2 trillion of across the board cuts will be instituted if the 'Super Committee' fails to present its own recommendations and/or if the Congress fails to approve such recommendations; and,

WHEREAS, many members of the 'Super Committee' have been advocates of deleterious changes to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Health Care Act that have the potential of crippling or "ending as we know  it" these decades-long  programs established by government as a social safety network through the continual efforts of organized labor and its progressive allies; and,

WHEREAS, the refusal by regressive politicians to adjust the tax code so that those who have reaped the highest profits in recent decades of economic gain would pay their fair share of the cost of government in promoting and protecting these social programs; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Health Care Act must be vigorously opposed.

RESOLVED, that we are opposed specifically to the following proposals:

  • We oppose raising the Social Security age;
  • We oppose any reduction in the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA);
  • We oppose raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67;
  • We oppose voucherizing Medicare and the imposition of even deeper cuts than in the proposed Ryan budget;
  • We oppose being left to the mercy of private insurance companies;
  • We oppose taking away traditional Medicare benefits and replacing them with limited stipends with which to purchase insurance in the private market place;
  • We oppose severe Medicaid cuts which would have implications to states, localities as well as on the federal level.

RESOLVED, that we support and urge that the Super Committee and the Congress act to revise the federal tax code to make it more equitable for American tax payers while holding corporations more accountable and more responsible for paying their fair share of taxes;

RESOLVED, that the United Federation of Teachers continue to work along side the New York State United Teachers, the American Federation of Teachers, the Alliance for Retired Americans, AFL-CIO and their progressive allies to strongly resist any diminution of the social safety network and strengthen its ability to serve the needs of all Americans.