Thursday, July 20, 2017

FRAC Action Alert: Contact the House Budget Committee

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) sent out the following action alert on Wednesday.
On July 19, the House Budget Committee “marked up” its fiscal year (FY) 2018 (10/1/17–9/30/18) Budget Resolution. While this markup is just the first step in the budget process, advocates are urged to immediately and vociferously oppose the extremely dangerous and harmful program cuts and structural changes included in the budget blueprint. A budget resolution that makes trillions of dollars in cuts to programs that support low- and moderate-income families cannot be tolerated.

Follow this link to the House Budget Committee’s legislative text, narrative text, charts and graphs, summary tables, and more. Significantly more details will be in the committee report, expected to be released on July 21.

 Much has been reported in the press about the “reconciliation” instructions to several House committees requiring $203 billion in mandatory spending through “savings and reforms” (cuts) over 10 years. That includes likely SNAP cuts of $10 billion/10 years, and (it was revealed this morning) apparently $1.6 billion/10 years in cuts from eliminating thousands of schools from the School Meal Community Eligibility Provision. The resolution also directs trillions more in further cuts to SNAP, Medicaid, Medicare, SSI, TANF and low income tax credits, among others.

Our own Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham offered her opinion on the House budget plan.
Much of the detail regarding the cuts is not identified in the resolution or supporting documents. However, for SNAP, the Committee identified harsher time limits for unemployed and underemployed adults to find work and increased flexibility and authority for states to administer SNAP (akin to block grants).

On the non-mandatory (discretionary) side, the resolution set topline spending levels at $621.5 billion for defense and $511 billion for non-defense programs. This permits defense spending to bust through the spending caps that were established in the Budget Control Act, and the parity that was set for any spending increases between defense and non-defense (discretionary) spending.

Action Needed:

While it is unclear when the bill will make its way to the House floor, it is imperative that advocates mount a strong and vocal effort now to oppose the House Budget Resolution.

• Contact your House Member now and let him or her know your opposition to the Budget Resolution and the harm that these cuts would inflict on seniors, children, persons with disabilities, and other vulnerable people. Check out FRAC’s statement on the House Budget Resolution.

• Specifically, reach out to moderate Republicans, including the 20 members of the group that signed a letter (pdf) last month expressing concern about cuts to mandatory spending programs.

• Get vocal on social. Tweet out your opposition to the #GOPBudget to your Member of Congress. Find sample tweets below.

Sample Tweets for #GOPBudget:
  • @YourMemberHandle: protect millions of Americans against hunger & poverty! Vote NO to proposed House #GOPBudget
  • Will @YourMemberHandle protect children, seniors & people w/disabilities? Your #Budget2018 NO vote will prove it! 
  • Millions of [your state] families rely on programs cut in the House #GOPBudget. Will you fight for them @YourMemberHandle? 
  • INSERTSTATENAME needs @YourMemberHandle to vote NO to hunger, poverty, & the House #GOPBudget: #SaveTheSafetyNet 
  • @YourMemberHandle: do you agree that no one should go hungry in America? Speak out against #GOPBudget 
  • “An all-out assault on struggling American families.” @fractweets sums up House #Budget2018 
  • “The House #GOPBudget robs the poor, sick & hungry to enrich the richest” - @fractweets #SaveTheSafetyNet 
  • We join @fractweets & hundreds of nat’l orgs in calling Congress to vote NO to #Budget2018: #SaveTheSafetyNet 
Find your Members’ Twitter handles (pdf).

Please contact Ellen Teller, or Lauren Badger, for any assistance in your legislative efforts.

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