McCaskill's own party puts pressure on entitlement programs and Nations looming fiscal cliff

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Missouri News Horizon
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Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is facing pressure from her own Democratic base as national leaders continue to search for a fix to the nation’s looming fiscal cliff.

On Friday, a group of Democratic organizations — including ASFCME, SEIU, and the National Educators Association — launched a new television ad in Missouri urging McCaskill to oppose “any cuts” to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

“Cutting hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid will short change the people who need it the most,” the ad states. “If you don’t want seniors to come up empty, call Senator McCaskill and tell her don’t make a bad deal that cuts our care.”

The ad comes after McCaskill, who won reelection earlier this year by touting herself as a “Missouri moderate,” has called for both sides to give a little during negotiations on a fix to the cliff.

“There has to be money in all three legs of the stool,” she said two weeks ago to reporters. “There has to be some money from entitlement reform. There has to be spending cuts, and there has to be revenue.”

The group is also targeting U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, and U.S. Representatives Pat Tiberi and Denny Rehberg, both Republicans.

The so-called “fiscal cliff” is a combination of two significant economic impactors: First, the 2001 Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire in full at the end of the year, hiking taxes on both middle and upper class Americans. The tax hike would be coupled with significant spending cuts that would have the potential to cut GDP growth.

On Monday, a Missouri coalition of the same groups delivered letters to McCaskill’s office with a similar message on entitlement spending, and calling for an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for families making less than $250,000.

The Missouri coalition was planning to deliver similar messages to the offices of Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, and U.S Representatives Jo Ann Emerson, Vicky Hartzler, and Blaine Luetkemeyer.