Will Congressional Progressives Speak Up on IMF vs. Greece?

UPDATE July 2 2015: The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is circulating a letter to the IMF, pressing the IMF to back off on its austerity demands in the debt negotiations with Greece. Senator Sanders has signed the letter. The letter has been endorsed by AFL-CIO, Just Foreign Policy, Public Citizen, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and the Campaign for America's Future.

We want to get as many members of the CPC as possible to sign the letter before it closes at the end of the day TODAY.

If your Rep is a member of the CPC, call them NOW at (202) 224-3121 and say

I urge you to sign the CPC letter urging the IMF to show greater flexibility in the debt negotiations with Greece. The letter closes today.

When you're done, report your call using the form below.

Original Action

Progressives around the world are speaking up against what the International Monetary Fund is doing to Greece. Tens of thousands protested in Athens last night. [1] Their protests have been echoed by Nobel-prize winning US economists Paul Krugman [2] Joseph Stiglitz [3], and by former Archibishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, rejecting the IMF's austerity demands. [4] Yesterday, Working Families [5] and Just Foreign Policy [6] sent alerts calling on President Obama and Congress to stand with Greece against the IMF.

One group of people who haven’t spoken up yet: progressives in Congress. Today, we want to change that. If your Representative is a member of the Congressional Progressive Congress[7], call them now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:

“As a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, I urge you to make a public statement against what the IMF is doing to Greece.”

When you're done, report your call below.

References
1. http://commondreams.org/news/2015/06/29/no-austerity-tens-thousands-back...
2. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/29/opinion/paul-krugman-greece-over-the-b...
3. http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/greece-referendum-troika-eur...
4. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/29/greeks-dont-give-in-to-eu-u...
5. http://action.workingfamilies.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KE...
6. http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/oppose-IMF-assault-on-Greece
7. http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/caucus-members/

I spoke to an aide who took the message but did not know whether Rep. Jeffries was planning to sign. I did mention that the letter closes today.

Luis Gutierrez IL-4 -- at 1:45pm EDT -- staff I called did not know whether he had already or was planning to sign. I made it clear the letter closes today.

I recommended that if Gutierrez or his staff had questions, then they should talk to Jan Schakowsky IL-9, Raúl Grijalva or Keith Ellison or their respective staff.

Pretty disappointing response from Gutierrez staffer who did not seem to even know who anybody I named was, how to get in touch with them or anything about the issue(s) involved.

The issue of how it’s not about the money but about using “deadlines” to force Greece to knuckle under, and to accept the unacceptable – not only austerity measures, but other regressive and punitive policies; – that the “troika” (the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund) foisted on Greece five years ago has been abysmal, resulting in a 25% decline in the country’s GDP such that no depression, ever, that has been so deliberate and had such catastrophic consequences; – almost none of the huge amount of money loaned to Greece has actually gone there. It has gone to pay out private-sector creditors like German and French banks; – that Greece has gotten barely a pittance, but it has paid a high price to preserve these other countries’ banking systems; – the IMF and the other “official” creditors do not need the money that is being demanded; – under a business-as-usual scenario, the money received would most likely just be lent out again to Greece; – that U.S. Congressional Members here can do more to influence the IMF than can members of almost any other organization.

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