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The 2012 elections are over, and the American people have spoken. We voted for strengthening the middle class and putting people back to work—not for job-killing budget cuts and attacks on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Voters rejected cutting Social Security, health care and education to pay for tax breaks for the rich. “We’re all in this together” defeated “You’re on your own.”

As you face urgent budget decisions over the next two months, you must keep the election results in mind and resist budget cuts that slow our economy and hurt families. The best way to reduce the deficit is to put people back to work and get our economy going again. That’s why we are calling on national leaders from both parties to stand up for the middle class and demand that any budget agreement:

Asks all Americans to pay their fair share of taxes. The Bush tax cuts for people making more than $250,000 a year must not be extended. We need to grow the economy from the middle out, not the top down.

Prioritizes job creation first. It’s time to grow—not slow—the economy. Any budget agreement must include investments in good jobs, education and infrastructure improvements.

Does not cut Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits and does not shift costs to beneficiaries or the states. Millions of seniors, children, people with disabilities and others depend on these vital programs, and they must not be cut. Voters loudly and clearly spoke up for these programs.

Protects the safety net and vital services for low-income people. We should not allow the fiscal burden to be shifted to the poor and working families who have borne a disproportionate share of the nation’s economic pain in recent years.

Stops the sequester. The scheduled automatic budget cuts threaten our fragile recovery and put huge numbers of people out of work while cutting education, child care, job training and dozens of vital services people and communities need.

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Elected officials from both parties need to heed the will of the voters in the lame duck and focus on rebuilding the middle class and strengthening our economy by investing in jobs, not cuts. We will forcefully oppose any budget deal that puts working families and the economic recovery in jeopardy.

List of supporters

Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO
Lee Saunders, President, AFSCME
LeeAnn Hall, Executive Director, Alliance for a Just Society
Barbara Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
Robert Borosage and Roger Hickey, Co-Directors,
Campaign for America’s Future
Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director,
Center for Community Change
Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director,
Coalition on Human Needs
Larry Cohen, President,
Communications Workers of America
Lawrence Mishel, President, Economic Policy Institute
Rev. Jennifer Butler, Executive Director, Faith in Public Life
Ana Garcia-Ashley, Executive Director, Gamaliel
Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO, Green for All
Ethan Rome, Executive Director,
Health Care for America Now
Sarita Gupta, Executive Director,
Jobs with Justice/American Rights at Work
Brian Kettenring, Executive Director,
Leadership Center for the Common Good

Wade Henderson, President and CEO,
Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Justin Ruben, Executive Director, MoveOn.org
Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO, National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Max Richtman, President and CEO, National Committee
to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
Ai-jen Poo, Executive Director,
National Domestic Workers Alliance
Dennis Van Roekel, President,
National Education Association
George Goehl, Executive Director, National People’s Action
Leslie Moody, Executive Director,
Partnership for Working Families
Angela Glover Blackwell, CEO, PolicyLink
Van Jones, President, Rebuild the Dream
Mary Kay Henry, International President,
Service Employees International Union
Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson, Co-Directors,
Social Security Works
Bob King, President, United Auto Workers
Jeff Blum, Executive Director, USAction