Brown Bag Lunch Vigils at 100 congress members' local offices on Wednesday, June 16, will carry the message "Hands Off Medicare and Social Security." Organiser and National Director of Progressive Democrats of America Tim Carpenter explains: "Cuts to Medicare and Social Security will not balance the budget, but ending the wars assuredly will."


This national day of events comes as the House of Representatives is considering for passage $33.5 billion to escalate an unpopular war in Afghanistan, the U.S. economy is faltering, and a presidential commission is working on what most observers expect will be a proposal to slash Social Security and Medicare. “This is not a debate over the size of our government,” said Carpenter, “but over what we will use our government for-killing or saving lives.”

Participating organizations include Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee,,, Healthcare NOW!, Unions for Single Payer, United for Peace and Justice, CODEPINK, and the Backbone Campaign. Brown Bag Vigils have been ongoing since January, on the third Wednesday of the month.

Brownbaggers are asking members of the House to publicly commit to voting No on any bills that fund wars, to publicly urge their colleagues and the House leadership to make the same commitment, and to protect Medicare and Social Security. This position necessarily includes opposition to the proposed $33.5 billion supplemental expected in the coming days to fund an escalation of the war in Afghanistan.

Congress members’ commitments are tracked at

Complete information on Brown Bag Vigils is available online:

Progressive Democrats of America was founded in 2004 to transform the Democratic Party and our country. We seek to build a party and government controlled by citizens, not corporate elites–with policies that serve the broad public interest, not just private interests. PDA is a grassroots PAC operating inside the Democratic Party, and outside in movements for peace and justice. Our inside/outside strategy is guided by the belief that a lasting majority will require a revitalized Democratic Party built on firm progressive principles.

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