VIDEO: Courage for America Bus Tour Joins Arizonans To Demand Rep. Schweikert “Back Off Our Benefits”

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

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

Rep. Schweikert constituents and local advocates attend “Back Off Our Benefits” Bus Tour stop in Phoenix, AZ (Credit: Courage for America) 


Honest Arizona and constituents of Rep. Schweikert 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. Schweikert 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)

Arizona-based veteran David Lucier calls on Rep. Schweikert to back off seniors’, veterans’ essential 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:

  • “Even though he isn’t here, we are and we need to be heard. Even before Kevin McCarthy became Speaker, MAGA Republicans have been playing politics instead of protecting people.”
  • “How many of us have somebody, or maybe even ourselves, who rely on these essential government benefits? What happens when those checks are cut or don’t come at all? We need House Republicans to stop risking a major global economic crisis for millions of Americans across the country to score political points.”
  • “We’re here today to ask Representative Schweikert a final time to promise his constituents to back off our hard-earned benefits and stop playing politics with our livelihoods.” 

Dora Vasquez, executive director of the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans:

  • “We have a simple message for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Representative Schweikert: We strongly oppose any cuts to Social Security and Medicare.”
  • “Nearly 20 percent of all Arizonans receive Social Security or Medicare. They are retirees, surviving spouses, children, and disabled Americans who have earned these benefits over a lifetime of hard work. But once again, some [MAGA] politicians are proposing drastic cuts and changes to Social Security and Medicare.”
  • “We are getting grandstanding and threats that will weaken our economy. We challenge Speaker McCarthy and Rep. Schweikert to get serious and do their jobs. Stop with the politicking, don’t risk our economy by failing to raise the debt limit.”

Rev. Cathy Patterson, Courage for America council member, faith leader, and former Wall Street executive:

  • As one of your constituents, I must demand more of you. […] Not raising the debt ceiling is like playing Russian roulette with the economy—and that is not hyperbole.”
  • “So Rep. Schweikert: Where do you stand in this time of challenge and controversy? Are you going to duck and dodge and over meaningless legislation because you lack the courage to do the right thing if it means challenging a small group of extremists in your party who are hellbent on driving this economy off the cliff? […] Why won’t [you] pledge not to cut Social Security or Medicare?”
  • “Congressman Schweikert, it’s time for you to stand up for your district, stop the insanity, and let us know where you stand on the budget.”

Linda Somo, a retired teacher and union leader:

  • “We are here today to try and encourage Rep. Schweikert to be on our side—the side of his constituents, the side of the retirees, the veterans, the moms who need SNAP programs.”
  • “We sent an invitation to [Rep. Schweikert]. We sent him a promise to sign. What we got in return was silence—he didn’t even bother to respond to us. That’s how much he cares about his constituents.”

Richard Jones, a Marine Corps veteran:

  • “Schweikert must not be allowed to hold our country hostage, whether it’s through encouraging an authoritarian and anti-democratic violence or by taking away the social [safety] nets that so many people depend on.”


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.