VIDEO: Courage for America Bus Tour Stops in La Crosse, Constituents Demand Rep. Van Orden “Back Off Our Benefits”
LA CROSSE, WI — Today, as part of its nationwide “Back Off Our Benefits” bus tour, Courage for America and Opportunity Wisconsin joined local advocates in La Crosse to call on Congressman Derrick Van Orden (WI-03) to promise his constituents that he will not cut essential programs that Americans rely on — including Social Security, Medicare, SNAP, and veterans’ benefits. At Red Cloud Park, several of Rep. Van Orden’s constituents demanded that MAGA lawmakers stop playing political games with the default crisis at their expense.
With Speaker Kevin McCarthy set to deliver remarks on Wall Street about forcing our nation to default, advocates from Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Protect Our Care, and the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans joined Courage for America in calling out House Republicans for prioritizing the wealthy over children, working people, veterans, and retirees who rely on these critical benefits.
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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:
Brad Pfaff, a Wisconsin state senator (SD-32):
- “We do not need to play games when it comes to this debt ceiling — we need to do the responsible thing and [lift] the debt ceiling. When it comes to a budget conversation, I encourage Republican members of Congress to come forward with their budget proposal. Let’s see what you have, and let’s make sure that whatever you put out in that budget proposal that it recognizes the hard working men and women out here that have paid their share, they’ve paid their dues.”
- “I am confident that the American public will not stand for any type of games that are being played with the future of our Social Security and Medicare.”
Reba Krueger, Opportunity Wisconsin regional lead:
- “With the economic default looming over our heads, Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, veterans benefits, food stamps, and even the Affordable Care Act are under attack. […] Millions of American lives depend on these benefits and the security they provide.”
- “House Republicans, including Rep. Van Orden, are risking a major global economic crisis, and major personal crises for millions of Americans, including those of us right here in Wisconsin, just to score political points. We are here to tell Rep. Van Orden a final time to promise his constituents, back off our hard earned benefits and stop playing politics with their livelihoods.”
Wes Davis, a Courage for America council member:
- “This MAGA-controlled House is willing to plunge the entire country — and I’ll go as far to say the globe — into a catastrophic default crisis to strip away programs like Social Security and Medicare programs that so many hardworking Americans pay into for prescriptions. […] Speaker McCarthy, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, and Derrick Van Orden are willing to play political games with our livelihoods in their quest for power. They’re willing to let the whole country suffer and hardworking Americans suffer.”
Tina Pohlman, a WI-03 constituent:
- “It is terrifying to consider what these cuts that Representative Van Orden and the Republican leaders like Kevin McCarthy will make to programs that I rely on to keep their political promises to the far right, ultra-MAGA extremists.”
Dr. Robert J. Freedland, a WI-03 constituent and health care advocate:
- “We call on Congressman Van Orden to have courage — courage to represent our district. I’m calling for him to protect our Social Security, protect our Medicare and Medicaid, protect your youth, protect the environment, protect our future.”
- “I am asking Representative Derrick Van Orden: Will you protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security for me and millions of others?”