Labor and citizen groups are visiting Wisconsin Congressional offices Monday, asking that certain programs be protected during the so-called "fiscal cliff" negotiations. Rallies were held outside two U.S. Senate offices in Milwaukee.
Several dozen protestors began the day outside the Reuss Federal Building in downtown Milwaukee, where Democratic Senator Herb Kohl has an office. They started their rally with a song, urging the protection of social programs like Social Security and Medicare.
Rev. Willie Briscoe addressed the rally. He's head of the Milwaukee Inner City Congregations Allied for Hope. Briscoe says the coalition also wants a fiscal cliff deal to include more taxes on the wealthy, and a job creation plan. Briscoe insists he's pushing both Republicans and Democrats, "Democrats, get off your duffs. Republicans, the election is over, you lost."
Federal security officers at the Reuss Building at first prevented a small of group of protestors from delivering a petition to Sen. Kohl's office, but two protestors later succeeded in doing so. Kohl released a statement saying Congress should first act on areas of agreement, like preventing tax increases on the middle class and fixing the alternative minimum tax. A small group of demonstrators later met with Republican Sen. Ron Johnson's staff at the Milwaukee federal courthouse. a statement from Johnson says he doesn't believe there is any federal program that should escape being reviewed for effectiveness and spending restraint. Johnson adds that “Doing nothing is the surest way to guarantee that the entitlement programs so many depend on will be bankrupt sooner rather than later."