“The headlines today are about the fact that the supercommittee did not reach an agreement, but the real measure of how lawmakers handle the deficit is an open question. In the end, Americans will judge their actions by whether they pass budgets that protect the middle class and the most vulnerable people in our communities. What America needs most is compassionate policies and an economy that works for everyone.
Our most fundamental values are at stake in this debate, and the central question is whether our government will prioritize human needs — those of older women and children living in deep poverty, people with multiple health problems and those without jobs, housing and food — instead of continuing tax cuts that allow the wealthiest among us to pay much less than their fair share.
Any deal that merely adds to the burden of those who have the least undermines our values. As Congress and President Obama go forward, we urge them to prioritize meeting the needs of those who rely most on government programs — those living in or near poverty — and the middle class, which is suffering terribly in this economic downturn.
Congress now returns to its work to pass a budget that is fair, just and compassionate. Health care, jobs, and programs that strengthen the middle class and help those most in need should be the paramount consideration for every lawmaker.”