El Paso – Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) released the following statement in response to the ongoing "Occupy Wall Street" movement, including the "Occupy El Paso" demonstrations:
"Thousands of people around the world, in the United States, and here in El Paso are expressing growing frustration about the direction our country is headed.
"We are living with the aftermath of failed policies pushed by the Bush White House and Congressional Republicans. From letting Wall Street investors have free rein, to an unnecessary war in Iraq, and the unwise tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, Republican policies have made millionaires even richer at the expense of working families. The wealthiest five percent in our country now own 60 percent of our nation's wealth, compared to 54 percent 20 years ago. In 1989, the bottom 90 percent of Americans accounted for 33 percent of our nation's wealth, but today that figure stands at less than 29 percent.
"And if the Republican-led Congress has its way, we could see as much as $1.4 trillion in cuts to education, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other vital services when the Select Committee on Deficit Reduction meets to consider ways to reduce the deficit. I have pressed the Committee to stand firm against extreme cuts that would place nearly the entire burden of deficit reduction on ordinary Americans, worsening poverty and inequality and making it even harder for struggling families to make ends meet.
"Since last Sunday, "Occupy El Paso" has been demonstrating in San Jacinto Plaza, drawing attention to economic inequality and the need for structural economic reforms. Their voices amplify the call for action on jobs legislation, and I will continue to fight to ensure that everyday Americans are heard."