VIDEO: Courage for America Bus Tour Stops in Albany as Advocates Demand Rep. Stefanik “Back Off Our Benefits”

Advocates Ramp Up Pressure on MAGA Republicans Ahead of McCarthy’s 100th Day
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ALBANY, NY — Today, as part of its nationwide “Back Off Our Benefits” bus tour, Courage for America joined constituents and advocates at the State Capitol to call on Representative Stefanik to promise her constituents that she will not cut essential programs that Americans rely on — including Social Security, Medicare, and veterans’ benefits.

Speakers, including local elected officials and veterans with Common Defense, highlighted how MAGA lawmakers like Stefanik are playing political games and pushing the country towards a default crisis at the expense of American seniors, veterans, and children.

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




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

Moises Montalvo, a U.S. Army veteran and Common Defense member:

  • “House Republicans, including Representative Stefanik, are risking a major global economic crisis and major personal crises for millions of Americans across this country to score political points. As a veteran, I’m tired of being used, I’m tired of being a pawn. So we’re here to ask Rep. Stefanik one final time to promise to her constituents back off our hard-earned benefits and stop playing politics with our livelihoods.”

Wanda Willingham, an Albany County Legislator:

  • “When we talk about stripping Americans of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid we’re not just talking about taking away critical benefits that help our seniors and those in need, it means we’re impacting whole families—sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren who help to care for their loved ones receiving services. […] The intergenerational impact of these cuts will devastate communities, especially those that have been historically underserved and marginalized, plain and simple.”
  • “These selfish cuts will make it even harder for seniors and children and veterans to flourish economically. […] We will not stand by as leadership in the House gives away the benefits that average Americans have rightfully earned.”

Gabriella Romero, an Albany Common Council member:

  • “I can foresee the absolutely devastating effect that cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid would do for our already struggling community. [..] MAGA Republicans are trying to push this dangerous agenda to score political points within their party. It’s unclear to me what exactly they’re doing, but it is clear that they’re not prioritizing working families.”
  • “What [this] means for you and I is the loss of six million jobs, our elders losing Social Security checks, veterans losing their VA benefits, and prices for everyday essential items would skyrocket. That’s not right. […] Protect our hard-earned benefits and stop playing politics with our lives.”

Joanne Dittes Yepsen, former mayor of Saratoga Springs:

  • “To those members of Congress still looking to push a dangerous agenda that would put this economy in a devastating state, and an agenda that does not include the American way. […] Instead of playing politics with our livelihoods, we invite you to take the positive and productive and popular path forward [by] signing a promise to always protect our proud American benefits.”

Danielle Hindieh, a Courage for America council member from New York:

  • “Some in Congress are refusing to pay bills America already owes. As a result, programs such as Social Security and Medicare are in jeopardy. Defaulting on our debts would mean strict cuts to programs that protect veterans, seniors, teachers, health care workers, and millions of other Americans. These are protections for the people these congressmen and women swore to serve.”
  • “If Congress defaults on America’s debts, the results will be catastrophic. […] We are asking Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and other House members to pledge to protect our hard-earned benefits and to not default on America’s debt obligations.”