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President Barack Obama meets with bipartisan House and Senate Leadership in the Cabinet Room of the White House to discuss his upcoming fiscal policy speech, April 13, 2011. Seated with the President from left are: Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Sen. Mitch McC
President Barack Obama urged Congress Tuesday to replace the automatic spending cuts of the budget sequester with a balanced set of deficit reductions that included cuts and revenue. He also indicated that, as far as he's concerned, a "grand bargain" is still possible.
The proposals that I put forward during the fiscal cliff negotiations in discussions with Speaker Boehner and others are still very much on the table.  I just want to repeat:  The deals that I put forward, the balanced approach of spending cuts and entitlement reform and tax reform that I put forward are still on the table.
He is still willing to trade entitlements for revenues, a deal that—so far—America's seniors have been saved from by Republican intransigence on taxes. What was previously offered up by Obama was raising the Medicare eligibility age and the chained CPI, a revision of the cost of living adjustment for Social Security that would mean increasing benefit cuts to seniors as they get older.

Not willing to count on the crazies in the House GOP caucus, Sens. Bernie Sanders, Sheldon Whitehouse and Jeff Merkley have been raising hell to prevent the cut being included in any plan. They're also circulating this letter among Senate colleagues asking for them to join in opposition to the proposal.

There's a further bulwark against entitlement cuts in the House, too, where the Congressional Progressive Caucus has actually come up with a plan that wouldn't just protect the nation's most vulnerable from further cuts, but would create jobs, too. If the White House wants to be serious about both deficit reduction and keeping the economy growing, those are the proposals that should be on the table.

The silver lining is that, because Republicans are so obstinate over taxes, any kind of plan that passes in the House will have to pass with Democratic support, and House Democrats can stop entitlement cuts. They're reminding their leadership and President Obama of that with a letter they're circulating among their colleagues, shoring up opposition to the cuts. We can help.

You can be a citizen co-signer of this letter to President Obama and House leadership, expressing your opposition to any benefit cuts to vital programs.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:50 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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