713 groups tell Congress: Avoid harmful cuts to human needs programs, raise revenues responsibly to cut deficit, pay for shared investments


May 22, 2023

Seven hundred and thirteen organizations are telling all members of Congress Monday to support responsible policies to strengthen our nation and build shared prosperity. The 713 groups signed a letter circulated by the Coalition on Human Needs to oppose House proposals to enact severe spending cuts – including cuts to health care, SNAP, public housing, TANF, and so many other key programs – as the price for agreeing to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. The letter were delivered to members’ offices Monday afternoon.

“Broadly shared investments have throughout history enhanced our economic security,” the letter states. “Investments during the pandemic made it possible to stop a deep recession in its tracks. Now we face a choice: will we reverse our hard-won progress and risk economic decline? Or will we continue our progress by investing in our people?” 

Groups signing the letter represent human service providers, faith groups, policy experts, labor, civil rights defenders, disability advocates, and other anti-poverty advocates. Organizations from every state are represented. Click here to read the letter and see the 713 signers. 

As time grows short before the federal government will default on payments it owes if Congress does not act, the letter calls upon Congress to support a clean increase in or suspension of the debt ceiling, saying Congress “…must not threaten default on spending it has already enacted.” 

“We are alarmed at calls to dramatically cut or cap spending on key anti-hunger, health, housing, early childhood and other programs and urge you to reject efforts to take away assistance from people with low incomes or impose administrative barriers that make it harder for people to access needed assistance, including those facing food and housing insecurity, struggling with health and care costs, and dealing with other hardships that make it harder to make ends meet,” the letter states.

The letter’s call to reject efforts to take away assistance from people with low incomes covers programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), essential benefits that the House-passed bill would restrict, denying aid to millions of people 

And it endorses “increasing revenues from wealthy individuals and corporations, both by collecting what they owe under current law and by fair new tax policies targeting the wealthiest and corporations.” 

The letter concludes, “The decisions you make around investments to keep pace with need,
adequate and fair revenues, and protections a
gainst dangerous cuts and default will have profound consequences for every American. We urge you to choose responsibility over recklessness, to ensure shared prosperity and to prevent self-inflicted wounds to our economy.”