March 7, 2011

We are under attack!

Dear Colleagues, we are in such a time when being under attack seems like a minimal statement. There is too much at stake for all of us not to stay in touch with our state and national directions. Please respond to the national need by March 8. Thank you.

The Coalition for Human Needs has spelled out the alternatives well--kids can’t afford an affirmative Senate vote on H.R. 1. Please read the following, and call your Senators today!

The Senate is expected to vote this week on alternative plans to approve spending for the rest of this year. They will vote on whether to agree to the extreme cuts passed by the House (H.R. 1) - $65 billion less than last year's spending for domestic programs. The House bill will deny vital services to millions of people, from young children to seniors. Please tell your Senators to VOTE NO on H.R. 1 and to vote FOR the Senate alternative. The proposed Senate bill cuts spending $6.5 billion below last year's levels, compared to more than $60 billion in cuts in H.R. 1. Most of the extreme cuts in the House plan listed below are not made in the Senate bill.

Call NOW toll-free 888-245-0215 (the vote could be as early as Tuesday)

Please call both your Senators and tell them to VOTE NO on H.R. 1 and FOR the Senate full-year FY 2011 bill. Tell them to vote NO on harsh and unprecedented cuts that will deny health care, education, food, housing, and jobs to millions of the poorest and most vulnerable Americans, while at the same time jeopardizing the economic recovery for all.

The House-passed cuts would be the largest one-year cuts in history. That is why it is so important that you call your Senators. Please forward this message to your networks.

If the House plan were to become law:
• 218,000 young children would not be able to receive Head Start services
• 10,000 people with long-term disabilities would lose their current rental assistance; most will be forced out of their homes
• 11 million patients would lose health care they've received at Community Health Centers (for more than 3 million, the loss of health care would be almost immediate)
• 20 million people, including 5 million children, 2.3 million seniors and 1.7 million people with disabilities, would lose some or all of the anti-poverty help now provided by community action agencies
• 9.4 million low-income college students would lose some or all of their Pell Grants
• 8 million adults and youth would lose access to job training and other employment services
• 81,000 low-income people, mostly seniors, would no longer receive supplemental food packages
• 1.2 million poor households in public housing will see their rental units deteriorate further because of cuts to maintenance and repairs; some units will no longer be habitable.
That's not all. Many thousands of jobs would be lost (for example: 10,000 teachers, 5,000 health care staff, 55,000 Head Start staff). And the cuts would slow down the economy, threatening our fragile economic recovery, and costing hundreds of thousands of jobs, just as we've started to make some progress. And remember: there are far smarter ways to reduce the deficit. A combination of fair revenue increases (examples worth many billion$: collect more revenue now sheltered offshore, end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy) and reductions in wasteful spending (many examples in the military, as well as oil and gas industry subsidies, etc.) can reduce the deficit without hurting those most in need or threatening the economy.

Your calls will make a difference! A big vote against the House plan will help protect the vulnerable and the economy as Congress continues to negotiate. Your silence will mean the cuts will be worse. It's as simple as that.

For more information about the House plan and other budget background, see the CHN report,A Better Budget for All: Saving Our Economy and Helping Those in Need.  For state data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities showing the impact of the House cuts click here.

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