VIDEO: Courage for America Bus Tour, Arizonans Demand Rep. Crane “Back Off Our Benefits”

Advocates Ramp Up Pressure on MAGA Republicans Ahead of McCarthy’s 100th Day
Photos, Audio, and Tour Information Available in Our Press Kit
(All images free for use with credit to Courage for America) 

FLAGSTAFF, AZ — Today, as part of its nationwide “Back Off Our Benefits” bus tour, Courage for America joined the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans and other Arizona partners in Flagstaff to call on Representative Crane to promise his constituents that he will not cut essential programs that Americans rely on — including Social Security, Medicare, and veterans’ benefits.

Common Defense national organizer JoJo Sweatt calls on Rep. Crane to protect veterans’ benefits. [Credit: Courage for America] 


The Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans and constituents of Rep. Crane blasted MAGA lawmakers for playing political games and pushing the country towards a default crisis at the expense of American seniors, veterans, and children. Rep. Crane was invited to speak directly with his constituents but refused to respond and did not attend.


(All images free for use with credit to Courage for America)

Constituents of Rep. Crane join Courage for America to ask him to promise to protect their benefits. [Credit: Courage for America]


Here’s what speakers had to say about MAGA lawmakers’ extreme agenda:

Laura Packard, Courage for America spokesperson and executive director of Health Care Voter:

  • “They’re going after all of our benefits. Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, veterans’ benefits, food stamps, and even the Affordable Care Act are under attack. […] House Republicans, including Rep. Crane, are risking a major global economic crisis and major personal crisis for millions of Americans across the country to score political points. We’re here today to ask Rep. Crane a final time to promise his constituents back off our hard-earned benefits and stop playing politics with our livelihoods.”

JoJo Sweatt, national organizing director for Common Defense:

  • “These MAGA extremists would rather default on debt obligation or, even worse, making the American people responsible for that debt by threatening extreme cuts to our hard-earned benefits that protect us.”
  • “They swore an oath to serve. I know what that looks like. House Republicans are waging war on everyday Americans like you and I, and they are willfully risking a major economic crisis for which we may never recover.”
  • “Rep. Crane is not a representative of the people in his district if he stands on the side of the MAGA circus in DC. He’s turning his back on nearly 183,000 residents of this district who are eligible for Medicare. He’s turning his back on 14,000 people who are eligible for disability and SSI. He’s turning his back on 15.3% of Arizona’s veterans who live in the district and barely get rural services. He’s turning his back on 11% of households who need SNAP benefits to ensure their families don’t go hungry.”

Susan Shapiro, director of Indivisible Northern AZ:

  • “Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are programs that millions of Americans rely on—real people, including my family, each with a unique story. So why would Republicans cut Medicaid while forcing women and … including poor women to give birth? Why would Republicans prioritize cutting these programs to the point of threatening to default on the debt and throwing the global economy into crisis?”
  • “All we’re asking from Eli Crane is that he stop playing politics with our lives, to promise to protect our benefits, and to not provoke a global catastrophe. It shouldn’t be too much to ask.”

Nicole Whitten, Northern Arizona University student organizer: 

  • “Health care is a human right. Medicare and Medicaid allow millions of Americans to access the life-saving care that they previously would not have had access to. […] We represent the greater majority of Americans who wish to fight for the health care we are owed, not what the government thinks we deserve.”

Emma Schraner, organizing manager of Rural Arizona Action:

  • “The idea that Medicare, Medicaid Social Security, SNAP benefits, and other programs could be jeopardized — on top of the current crisis of food and housing insecurity — is almost impossible for me to imagine. But here we are, telling our deeply personal stories with the hope that we can persuade Representatives like Eli Crane to not to take these programs away.”
  • “I will be watching to see how Rep. Crane represents us — what is being asked of him is the bare minimum. Taking away these programs is a death sentence to countless people, including many I know.”

Lesley Handon, Northern Arizona University student, Arizona Students’ Association fellow, and proud queer activist:

  • “Programs that help lower the cost of food, health care, and many other basic human needs are being threatened by House Republicans across the country, including here [in Flagstaff]. We must do all we can to push back against these cuts – call Representatives, go to events just like this one, and make your voices heard. We cannot succumb to the extremist rhetoric or policies that deem human life not as important as a financial and political gain.”


To learn more about the bus tour or speak with a Courage for America spokesperson, please email [email protected]. Additional information can be found in our press kit, including photos and videos from each event that will be added throughout the tour.