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WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 12: &nbsp;U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) testifies during a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee July 12, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The hearing was focused on the ratification of the U.S. on T.Doc.112-7, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. &nbsp;(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Received this e-mail today from Senator Tom Harkin (D. IA) regarding Obamacare, the economy and Social Security:
Republicans seem to think that hostage-taking is their best negotiating tool -- "Give us what we want, or the middle class and the economy get it."
Last time, it was demands for cuts to Social Security -- the single most effective anti-poverty program in the history of the country. This time, it's defunding and repealing Obamacare -- with obstructionist Republicans in the House threatening to shut down the government and send the economy into a tailspin if we won't enforce their extreme views before statutory funding of the federal budget expires on Sept?ember 30.

These scorched-earth politics hurt our country and threaten the middle class. We must stand strong -- and be willing to call the Republicans' bluff on shutting down the government -- rather than give one inch on programs like Obamacare and Social Security that protect the middle class.

FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks in Las Vegas. Just as President Barack Obama is pushing new initiatives on gun control and immigration, the gloomy old problem of a sluggish economy is shoving its way back into prominence. That could imperil his focus on other issues, just as he is shaping a second-term agenda. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken, File)
Co-sign my message to President Obama and the Democratic Senate: Hold the line on Obamacare and Social Security!

http://www.democratsenators.org/...

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 25: U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) (L) addresses a press conference with U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) following a 54-45 vote against a House bill that would include the wealthiest Americans in an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts on July 25, 2012 in Washington, DC. The Senate instead approved by a vote of 51-48 a Democratic bill that excludes the highest-earning Americans from a yearlong extension of tax cuts. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)
Right now, President Obama and the Democratic Senate are holding fast, because they know that programs like Social Security and Obamacare will strengthen the economy by giving the middle class greater economic security.

However, you and I know that the pressure to compromise and negotiate is only going to increase as we get closer to the deadline. Nobody wants to shut down the government -- a drastic step which will hurt hundreds of thousands of Americans -- and in the effort to avoid a shutdown, congressional leaders and the White House will start looking for a deal.

But we also know that deal cannot include concessions on Social Security or Obamacare, two critical pieces of legislation to strengthening the middle class and our long-term economic recovery.

We just can't let it happen, and I need you to help me make it clear to my colleagues and the president.

Co-sign my message to President Obama and the Democratic Senate: Hold the line on Obamacare and Social Security!

http://www.democratsenators.org/...

Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Tom Harkin
U.S. Senator

You can click here to sign Harkin's letter:

http://www.democratsenators.org/...

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Originally posted to pdc on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 01:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Pushing back at the Grand Bargain, Social Security Defenders, and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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