Update: 260 Groups Tell Congress: Keep Government Running and Protect Human Needs


November 13, 2023

Update: On Monday, November 13, 260 groups delivered a letter to Congress, urging members to pass a concurrent resolution (CR) to keep government running and protect human needs. You can find a copy of the letter, along with the signees, here. Below is a copy of our original, November 10 post about CHN’s outreach efforts and the contents of the letter:

Your voice matters: CHN seeks help from local, state, and national groups to keep government running and protect human needs 

The Coalition on Human Needs is asking local, state, and national groups to sign  a letter asking Congress to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government open and running beyond Friday, November 17. If Congress fails to act by midnight next Friday, we will face a government shutdown. 

“Congress must pass a bipartisan, bicameral continuing resolution (CR) including emergency funding to address urgent domestic funding needs including nutrition services such as WIC, child care, energy assistance, the substance abuse crisis, disaster relief, broadband access, and other critical priorities,” the letter states. 

The letter urges Congress to support a CR, and ultimately long-term bipartisan spending bills, “free of poison pill policy riders that are harmful and/or irrelevant to the functions of government.” 

It notes that the House is considering spending bills that violate the spirit of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, also known as the debt ceiling agreement, that was reached between President Biden and former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. 

These spending proposals violate the spirit of the agreement “by including draconian cuts to non-defense discretionary spending, hundreds of poison pill policy riders, and significant recissions that, for example, would undermine our nation’s fight against climate change and the ability of the IRS to hold wealthy tax cheats accountable,” the letter states. 

It notes that unlike the House, the Senate Appropriations Committee has completed all 12 spending bills on a bipartisan basis, consistent with the agreement reached by Biden and McCarthy. 

“Ultimately, we hope Congress will recognize that the funding caps are unrealistic and harmful and that in the future, the appropriations process should start from what agencies and our communities actually require, not arbitrary numbers that are untethered from the realities of what the nation needs,” the letter states. “Federal investments make our states, counties, cities, and towns run efficiently and serve our public needs.” 

It notes that states rely on federal dollars for more than one third of their budgets. 

It makes a big difference to have large numbers of organizations with diverse concerns join together on a letter like this. CHN plans to share the final letter with every House and Senate office next Monday afternoon, and urge groups to share the final letter directly with their Congressional offices.  


Budget and Appropriations