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Will VA Congressmen follow Rep. Rigell's lead on revenue?

Virginia Beach congressman called for compromise in fiscal cliff negotiations and support for raising revenue

After U.S. Congressman Scott Rigell of Virginia's second district publicly urged his colleagues to support increased revenue in any fiscal cliff deal, nonprofit organizations Virginia Organizing and ProgressVA Education Fund urged Virginia's congressional delegation to follow suit. In a letter to his congressional colleagues, Rigell urged support for increased revenues, calling the approach "fiscally conservative." Rigell is part of a growing group of conservative lawmakers to repudiate Grover Norquist's radical anti-tax pledge. Rigell previously signed the pledge.

"Congressman Rigell should never have signed an anti-tax pledge to begin with," said Chairperson of Virginia Organizing, Sandra A. Cook. "It's irresponsible to make a pledge not to raise taxes just to protect the wealthy and neglect those people who are in the most need. Congressman Rigell has a responsibility to protect his constituents, many of whom utilize social safety net programs that have been put on the chopping block to protect tax breaks for millionaires, billionaires, and corporations that ship jobs overseas. I'm glad Congressman Rigell is finally listening to the people he represents instead of wealthy donors. We hope his colleagues in Congress will follow his return to reality and reason in the near future."

"Christmas won't be merry for millions of Virginia families if Congress refuses to reach a deal to protect middle class tax cuts by the end of the year," said ProgressVA Education Fund Executive Director Anna Scholl. "Any deal that puts millionaires before the middle class isn't a good deal for Virginia families. We hope Virginia's Congressmen will follow Rep. Rigell's lead in ditching their extreme pledge to a single D.C. lobbyist and support a plan that asks the wealthy to pay their fair share to get us back on track."

In the past month, Virginians have held rallies, town hall meetings, and house parties across Virginia in support of a fiscal cliff deal that puts the middle class before millionaires and lets the Bush tax cuts for the top two percent expire. Events have been held in Reston, Vienna, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Richmond, Charlottesville, Staunton, Harrisonburg, Danville, and Lynchburg. Asking the wealthy to pay their fair share and allowing the Bush tax cuts for the top two percent to expire would generate nearly $1 trillion in revenue over the next ten years. A new poll from NBC News shows 59% of Americans support eliminating the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000 a year.

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ProgressVA Education Fund is a nonprofit advocacy organization communicating progressive values across the Commonwealth. We engage Virginians around issues of immediate state and local concern. www.ProgressVA.org

Virginia Organizing is a statewide grassroots organization that brings people together to create a more just Virginia. www.Virginia-Organizing.org