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Ellison's Progressive Caucus comes out against debt deal

WASHINGTON — The Congressional Progressive Caucus and its co-chair, Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison, have come out against the debt ceiling deal hatched by President Barack Obama and congressional leadership.

Ellison, reading a statement from the caucus, said tea party-aligned members of the Republican Party have "held our economy hostage" by demanding large cuts and opposing tax increases in exchange for raising the debt limit. 

"This is the wrong approach for our economy at the wrong time, and it goes against our basic values," he said. "For that reason, we and many of our members will be voting no."

Ellison spoke with six members of the caucus by his side. He said caucus leadership had not counted exactly how many of its more than 70 members would be voting against the legislation.

Caucus members urged Obama to invoke the 14th Amendment should the debt deal not pass. That route, by which the president would unilaterally instruct the Treasury to continue to borrow money to pay the country's debts, has been opposed by the White House.

"President Obama has been given a hand to fight from," Ellison said. "He was the president at the time when these people made these unreasonable demands to undermine and hurt these basic social services ... If we have any dispute, its tactical."

Devin Henry be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com

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Comments (4)

Isn't it interesting how little coverage the People's Budget received in our "liberally biased" main stream media.

MSM, anything bUT liberal.

The People's Budget was ignored not just by the media but the Administration and most of the rest of the Congress in spite of being the only budget plan that erased the deficit and replaced it with a surplus in ten years, harmed no social spending, ended our multiple wars and cut defense spending, raised taxes on the wealthy and corporations, ended corporate welfare. And invested in public infrastructure, broadband, clean energy, housing and R&D (JOBS JOBS JOBS).

The awful cut-cut-cut but never-raise-revenue and our-economy-will-recover will instead send our economy into the toilet and harm every American except the wealthy.

The sad part is that the president could have taken the heat off the entire phony process by using the 14th Amendment to raise the debt limit all by himself. Why, oh why, did he not?

Anyone who would vote against raising the debt ceiling is an economic terrorist, holding our nation's economy hostage to their radical agenda!

Oh wait ... only if they're republicans. Never mind.

Bernice, the 14th Amendmanet simply says that existing debt must be acknowledged. It doesn't protect new debt, which is what raising the ceiling is for.