A Full Court ‘Press’ to Stop Federal Cuts
We’re doing a full court ‘press’ to stop federal cuts to human needs programs, and we need your help.
On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education approved funding levels for programs in its jurisdiction. Unlike the President’s budget, which funded priorities more adequately by rejecting the too-restrictive sequestration caps, the House bill stays within the caps. They do it by de-funding the health care law, cutting education programs $2.8 billion below this year’s levels, rejecting the President’s call for universal pre-k and for full-time, year-round Head Start programs, and cutting funding to protect and serve workers at the Department of Labor. Many programs are flat-funded, from job training to children’s services. That means they are cut, since costs agencies must pay continue to rise. Cuts have been going on for many years now. CHN’s table of human needs programs shows substantial cuts in many programs from FY 2010 to the current year.
You and I both know that our country can’t begin to meet needs adequately without finally rejecting the sequester spending caps. President Obama has said he will veto all spending bills that stay within these restrictive caps, and that’s sure to force a negotiation and/or another government shutdown crisis, either in the fall or, if it’s a real nail-biter, by the end of the calendar year. People we talk with in the Administration and Congress have strongly urged us to begin speaking out now, so that the outcome of the deal is one that does better at meeting human needs.
That’s why we’re encouraging everyone to speak out in ways that will get in the press – letters to the editor, press releases, op-eds, blog posts, and social media sharing. These efforts will heighten awareness of the real problems that sticking to these restrictive caps will bring to your community. It will also send a message to Congress that we are watching, and that there is another path they should take.
Last week, we held a webinar titled, Stopping Federal Cuts: Why and How. If you weren’t able to participate then, you can still watch a recording of the webinar and download the slides. At the time, we promised tip sheets on writing a Letter to the Editor or a press release, and those are now available for downloading. We also encourage you to use blogs and social media to speak out against proposed cuts. And if you or someone you know is interested in authoring an op-ed (great potential authors include key staff or board members of social service agencies, local business leaders, faith leaders, people who have benefited from services or who are waiting to get needed services, physicians serving low-income communities, educators, and labor or advocacy organization leaders), let us know via the comment section below or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We have materials to help with that, too, and we can also help with drafting and editing.
For more information on Congress’s budget and appropriations work, we’ve included below some additional materials and resources:
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: The Congressional 2016 Budget Plan: An Alarming Vision
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Ten Serious Flaws in the Congressional Budget Plan
- Coalition on Human Needs: Selected Human Needs Programs – Shrinking Funding Since 2010
- Coalition on Human Needs, Human Needs Report, 6/16/15: Fiscal Year 2016 Appropriations Process Continues
Speak out, make your voices heard, and be a part of this full court ‘press’ to stop federal cuts.