Ellison draws a line in the sand on deficit “grand bargain”

WASHINGTON – As negotiations continue between the Obama Administration and Congress on how to solve the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts known as the “fiscal cliff,” liberal Democrats, including Minneapolis U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, are warning the White House not to give too much away in negotiations.

A recent story on the secretive negotiations in Politico suggested that the White House is open to changes in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in exchange for tax hikes from Republicans.

Not so fast, said Ellison, who was recently re-elected as co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, home to the most liberal members of the Democratic Party in Congress. He warned that his members wouldn’t back such a deal.

“Any agreement to meet our end-of-the-year deadlines will need a large portion of the House Democratic Caucus to pass. Progressives will not support any deal that cuts benefits for families and seniors who rely on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to put food on the table or cover their health costs,” said Ellison in a statement.

There are currently 76 House members of the CPC out of 190 House Democrats. The group could gain as many as 10 members when the 113th Congress convenes in January.

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