When flu season and Groundhog’s Day arrive together
Punxsutawney Phil’s Nightmare
On February 2, Punxsutawney Phil, as we all know, peers out of his hole and if he sees his shadow, 6 more weeks of winter.
But what if he was a little feverish from flu?
What if instead of his shadow, he saw a nightmarish image that intruded upon his secure lair with hints of government dysfunction and failure to meet the needs of woodland creatures and humans alike?
What if he saw…
We think that alarming vision could signify six more weeks of stopgap frozen funding. And that is what the press is suggesting today: that Congress may extend the upcoming February 8 funding deadline for many federal programs through March 22. That means for about half the fiscal year, instead of making program-by-program decisions and responding to needs for additional funds, Congress has punted, simply extending existing levels with very little consideration of the actual needs (think opioid epidemic). And along with setting adequate basic funding levels, Congress has failed to provide adequate disaster relief, failed to renew a number of vital health programs such as community health centers, and of course has not secured legal status for the Dreamers.
If Phil’s fever dream is true, we will be urging the mammals in Congress to stand up for the Dreamers, for Puerto Rico and all the other disaster victims, and our urgent health needs as the February 8 deadline approaches.
But what if Phil’s fever worsens, and he sees…
That might force us all out of our holes.
In a lot less than six weeks, we’ll see President Trump’s new budget (February 12) – and we can learn about the budget’s impacts in a very timely webinar on Wednesday, February 14, at 12:30 p.m. ET. Register today, so by the time six weeks rolls around, we’ll all be well prepared to fight for health care, food, housing, education, and all the other programs that help people work and secure basic living standards. And to fight off disastrous cuts.