Real Americans

A packed hearing room on Capitol Hill was the scene of a summit meeting Thursday with seniors, the disabled and grassroots groups fighting with Sen. Bernie Sanders and others in Congress to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from budget cuts.

"There are fair ways to reduce the $1 trillion federal deficit and $16 trillion national debt, but balancing the budget on the backs of the elderly, the sick, the children and the poor is not among them," Sanders said. "We are here today to send a very loud and very clear message to the leadership in the House, in the Senate and in the White House: Do not cut Social Security; do not cut Medicare, do not cut Medicaid and do not provide more tax breaks to the top 2 percent who are doing phenomenally well and in many cases have never had it so good."

The summit was held one day before President Barack Obama and congressional leaders are to meet at the White House on ways to reduce deficits and avert automatic Jan. 1 spending cuts and tax increases.

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Hands Off Social Security Summit