Congress Told “Invest in America”

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STATE — New Jersey residents joined a nationwide protest against Republicans—and some Democrats—who are campaigning to cut billions if dollars from health care, education, and science programs in the proposed federal budget on Thursday.

At a noontime meeting with GOP Rep. Leonard Lance, Lisa McCormick, James Devine and other concerned citizens discussed the impact of proposed cuts in the federal budget, demanding that officials invest in America.

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“Spending more for war and less for helping Americans who are being crushed by an unfair distribution of economic hardship shows that Washington DC still has misguided priorities,” said McCormick, who was a Democratic candidate for county clerk last year. “There is a class war being waged in this country but only one side is engaged in battle, and it is about time that someone started fighting for the shrinking middle-class.”

About 25 MoveOn.org members spent more than an hour discussing their concerns with Lance, who sought to find common ground despite apparent differences with the progressive voters on many issues.

“Leonard Lance has cultivated a reputation for moderation and he must either stand up to ultra-conservative forces in Washington or betray his promise to represent New Jersey,” said Devine, a MoveOn.org spokesperson.

At Rep. Donald Payne’s Elizabeth office on North Broad Street, Democratic freeholder candidate Janet Reynolds addressed a dozen residents who gathered in support of tax fairness and smarter federal spending rather than the kind of cuts advocated in Washington, DC.

Tony Monteiro, a former Elizabeth councilman and school board member, and Linden Councilman Derek Armstead also spoke out.

“Nobody on Wall Street went to jail for robbing trillions of dollars from the retirement funds of working Americans, but the victims of those crimes are being asked to accept smaller pensions,” said Monteiro. “We applaud Congressman Payne for standing up for America because his record is a stark contrast with the injustice being pursued against workers in Wisconsin.”

“Billions in federal funding cut from health care, education, and science programs will do nothing to turn the economy around,” Armstead said. “Instead, they will adversely impact the 98 percent of Americans who are barely getting through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. I am proud to have Congressman Payne fighting to put people first and eager to recruit more citizens to join our cause.”


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