Newark Patch

Lawmakers, Labor Urge Pullback From Fiscal Cliff

Rally Held in Newark Monday

Newark Patch — Monday, December 10, 2012

By Natalie Davis

Members of Congress and representatives of organized labor held a rally early Monday in Newark calling on lawmakers to resolve the "fiscal cliff" crisis in a way that won't harm the economy.

The fiscal cliff refers to a package of tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect in a few weeks that many fear would plunge the economy back into recession.

Among the speakers at Grace Church on Broad Street were Democratic congressmen Bill Pascrell and Frank Pallone as well as Milly Silva, vice president of the New Jersey state council of the Service Employees International Union, Charles Wowkanech, president of the state AFL-CIO and Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, executive director of New Jersey Citizen Action.

Speakers said helping the middle class recover should take a higher priority than deficit reduction right now. In fiscal cliff negotiations, Republicans and Democrats are at loggerheads over issues like raising taxes on the wealthy and on how much to reduce spending.

"We join our voices today to send a clear message that any and all decisions made regarding the fiscal cliff will affect millions across New Jersey and our country who are the most vulnerable, and we must not balance the budget on their backs," said Silva. "Our country is at a crossroads and we cannot afford to have devastating automatic spending cuts that will affect education, healthcare, human services and more."

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