Members of Awake Pinellas, Occupy St. Pete and the Florida Consumer Action Network attempted to meet with U.S. Rep. Bill Young last month to discuss his stance on the Republican budget plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee.
“He called us to make an appointment (but) he never followed through,” said protester Bill Hurley.
On Thursday members of the three progressive groups went to Young’s office at St. Petersburg College in Seminole to demand a meeting with the Republican congressman.
Hurley said the group’s main concern is Young’s position on the so-called "Path to Prosperity Budget," referred to as Ryan's budget, since the Wisconsin congressman had a lead role in drafting it.
“We want him to stand with the 99 percent and not the 1 percent,” Hurley said. “The Paul Ryan budget is the biggest example of that. Taking it away from Medicare and Social Security and giving it to richest people who don’t need tax breaks. They have enough tax breaks.”
Around two dozen protesters, armed with protest signs, marched into Young’s Seminole office Thursday to read a letter to Young’s staff requesting a meeting with the congressman when he returns from the latest session of Congress.
The letter read:
“We are troubled by your support of the Ryan budget … Representative Young, your support for this bill enables millionaires and corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, while costing average Americans countless jobs.
This bill, crafted by and for the elite and 1 percent, is an all-out assault on the rest of us, the hardworking Americans that make up the 99 percent.
… We respectfully request a meeting to discuss these important issues.”
Young’s staff members said they would pass along the message to the Congressman.
“All I am is just the messenger. When and if the Congressman will meet with you is not my decision,” said Young staffer Shirley Miaoulis to the group. “I will stress to them that you are a little bit disturbed.”
Hours after the group’s visit to Young’s office, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a budget aimed at protecting military spending. According FOX News:
"In a 218-199 vote mostly along party lines, the House approved a Republican-backed bill which would prevent a $55 billion Pentagon cut that defense hawks warn would force troop cuts and military base closings, as well as an 8 percent cut to domestic agency operating budgets."
The New York Times adds that the bill will not pass the Senate and would be vetoed by the President:
"The legislation has no chance of passing the Senate or of becoming law. The White House issued a stern veto threat, saying the bill would “fail the test of fairness and shared responsibility.'"
.. Of the savings, $23.5 billion came from Medicaid and children’s health care; $4.2 billion from hospitals that serve the poor and uninsured; and $33.7 billion from supplemental nutrition assistance. In all, about a quarter of the cuts would come directly from programs that benefit the poor."