To the Editor:
Virginia Organizing is thankful for the hard work of members of Congress to reach a budget compromise that will be voted on at the end of the week. Virginia's own U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine were both a part of the conference committee that created the budget deal and we applaud their work.
Virginia Organizing was pleasantly surprised that cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare were left out of this deal, and thrilled that the budget deal means that deeper spending cuts from the sequester will no longer take effect in the new year. However, Congress missed an opportunity to close corporate tax loopholes that benefit only the wealthiest and most privileged Americans and instead chose to create a budget that penalizes people who are looking for jobs by ending long-term unemployment benefits.
Sen. Warner has repeatedly asked for "entitlement reform," which is an approach to cut important programs that benefit seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income Americans. Virginia Organizing will continue to call on Sen. Warner to protect these programs and support closing tax loopholes that ship jobs and profits overseas. The profits of the wealthy and big corporations cannot be protected at the expense of individuals and families that need these programs to survive. This deal shows that we still have work to do.
Sandra A. Cook
Chairperson, Virginia Organizing