Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senators Byron Dorgan and Amy Klobuchar, and a cross-section of American citizens held a press conference today to discuss what Democrats have done for Americans families struggling with the rising costs of living and a shrinking job market – and how Republicans have blocked us at every turn. This week alone, Democrats fought to strengthen our economy, address the energy crisis, cut taxes and create jobs, but Republicans stood in the way and offered only more of the same failed economic policies that got us into this mess in the first place.
“Democrats are working to make the American Dream affordable again so that families can get ahead,” Reid said. “We know the families are squeezed between prices that are rising and incomes that are not. In the last two weeks we gave Republicans three chances to address energy costs, a chance to provide tax relief to hard working families struggling with education and child care costs, and a chance to help seniors cope with rising health costs by strengthening Medicare. Republicans said no each time, but they aren’t just saying no to Democrats. They are saying no to millions of struggling Americans.”
Said Dorgan: “When our country is in trouble, politics as usual doesn’t cut it. We have a sick economy with gas prices going through the roof, more people out of work, and a sub-prime loan scandal causing a wave of home foreclosures. If the Senate were a bicycle built for two, the Democrats are on the front seat peddling uphill while the Republican minority is on the back seat with their feet planted on the brakes. Their obstruction tactics are hurting our country at a time when we need bold action. The American people expect more and deserve better.”
“Americans’ gas tanks and pocketbooks are on empty and they want change,” Klobuchar said. “We will continue to fight to provide middle-class families with the relief they need to get ahead by stabilizing energy costs and making education and healthcare affordable.”
Said Treena Walker, an office cleaner, a single mother of three and member of SEIU Local 32BJ: “Money’s so tight that I have to ask myself, do I go grocery shopping or do I fill up the car? I can’t afford my son’s asthma medicine so I have to take him to the emergency room when he runs out.”
“Between the high price of drugs and the high price of fuel, we have to weigh whether we eat or have medicine,” said Sadie Coleman, a senior and member of the Alliance for Retired Americans. “Seniors on fixed incomes are faced with choices no American should have to make.”
Said Sheila Isong, a recent college graduate: “As a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, I received more than my diploma on graduation day. I graduated with approximately $80,000 in student loan debt. As a young person who is pursuing a career in public service, I am being forced to choose between a career that I’m passionate about and one that will provide me with a bigger paycheck.”