Liberal group protests GOP congressman

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on August 24, 2011 at 1:46 PM

DALLAS -- A Texas Republican, other than Gov. Rick Perry, with a fast rising national profile drew some protesters in Dallas Tuesday. 

Dallas Congressman Jeb Hensarling is the co-chair of the new super committee that Is supposed to cut $1.5 trillion from the federal deficit by Thanksgiving.

But with the attention comes more controversy.

Local members of the liberal group, MoveOn, lined up outside the Lakewood Country Club to let Hensarling know they want programs for seniors and the poor protected.

"There should be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid there should be only increases in all three and in public education," said Stephen Benavides, spokesman.

Inside the country club, Hensarling, who has long favored spending cuts, told the Greater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce the budget crisis is fueled by the growth in entitlements spending.

"I want to change it," said Hensarling. "I don't want Medicare to go bankrupt, I want to change it. I don't want Social Security to go bankrupt."

Hensarling opposes tax increases but said he does not consider anything non negotiable.

"But I'm not going into negotiations with preconditions because once I do every other member does and it fails at the outset," Hensarling said.

MoveOn, however, insists higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations. And in an indication just how frustrated the left is they also criticize President Obama and some Democrats for going too far to the right.

"They’re basically giving in to the Republican and the conservative requests and we can't stand for that," Benevides said.

A few tea partiers stood for a counter demonstration but let their signs do the talking.

The autumn will bring cooler temperatures but MoveOn and other liberal groups say they'll keep the heat on Hensarling and the deficit reduction.

E-mailbwatson@wfaa.com

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