Congressman David Cicilline’s office confirmed he hasn’t signed the Grayson-Takano pledge to oppose “every cut to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits” and that he is “leaning” against supporting the progressive Back to Work budget proposal being supported by the Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives. (Instead he may support the more moderate House Democrat proposal being voted on today.)
But Cicilline spokesman Rich Luchette wants progressive Rhode Islanders to know that these tough votes don’t necessarily mean that David is no longer fighting for us.
“You don’t sign every letter or bill you agree with,” Luchette said in an email. “That’s just not how the House works.”
He sent this statement that he wanted me to share with progressive RI:
It is absurd to suggest that David is anything other than 100% committed to protecting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits
In February 2013, David co-signed a letter from Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Congressman Keith Ellison and Congressman Raul Grijalva that pledged to oppose cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits as part of a deal to avert sequestration.
In December 2012, David co-signed a letter pledging to oppose any budget proposal that included chained CPI to calculate COLAs for Social Security.
In August 2011, the Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans presented David with the Social Security and Medicare Hero’s Award thanking him for his work to protect Social Security and Medicare.
In July 2011, David co-signed a letter to Leader Pelosi expressing support for her strong advocacy during debt ceiling negotiations to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
He called on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security in October 2011.
“Rep. Cicilline draws the line on protecting Social Security, Medicare benefits.” – The Hill, October 2011,
David spoke on the House floor and voted against the Ryan budget in March 2012 because it would end the Medicare guarantee for seniors.
In both of his terms, he co-sponsored the Preserving Our Promise to Seniors Act, legislation that would strengthen the finances of the Social Security Trust Fund and improve how cost of living adjustments (COLAs) are determined by using a new Consumer Price Index (CPI) that more accurately tracks changes in the cost of goods and services purchased by seniors.
He also co-sponsored the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act in both terms – legislation that would authorize the Health and Human Services Secretary to negotiate with pharmaceutical manufacturers the prices of prescription drugs for beneficiaries of Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage, which could save taxpayers billions of dollars while also reducing drug prices for seniors.
Just last week, he fought for these priorities during the Budget Committee markup of the Ryan proposal.
Congressman Cicilline introduced an amendment that would have included language in the budget resolution expressing the House’s opposition to the privatization of Social Security. Due to Republican opposition, the amendment failed by a vote of 22-17.
Congressman Cicilline co-sponsored, and spoke in favor of an amendment offered by Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA) that would have formally affirmed our commitment to not ending Medicare as we know it. Due to Republican opposition, this amendment also failed by a vote of 22-17.
Congressman Cicilline co-sponsored an amendment offered by Representative Michelle Lujan-Grisham (D-NM) to restore Medicaid assistance to cover the costs of nursing home care or home and community-based services for seniors. Due to Republican opposition, this amendment also failed by a vote of 22-17.