August 02, 2011: After Debt Deal, Recovery and Human Needs Programs

Recovery and Deficit Reduction Must Include Strong Human Needs Programs

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs welcomed congressional passage of today’s compromise legislation to raise the debt ceiling without provoking a serious economic crisis. However, this was only one component in a long term discussion to lower the deficit and preserve critical human needs programs.

“The President and Congressional leaders have come together to reach a compromise that avoided significant damage to our economy,” said JCPA Chair Dr. Conrad Giles. “As Congress now begins to consider a bipartisan plan for deficit reduction, the JCPA will continue to work with lawmakers to protect programs such as Medicaid, SNAP, LIHEAP, and Pell Grants that not only save lives, but enable millions to climb out of poverty. Shielding these programs from automatic cuts is recognition of their value. We expect that whatever plan is produced by the new bipartisan commission will preserve these programs, especially as we continue our economic recovery.”

“The best way to reduce the deficit is to get our economy growing again,” said JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow. “Instead of focusing on how much we can cut funding for proven programs, we should find ways to enhance economic growth and expand opportunity. We urge our lawmakers to put in place policies that catalyze job creation and spur recovery. Despite today’s compromise, millions of families and individuals still face economic turmoil. Strengthening human needs programs like unemployment insurance can help families stay in their homes and on their feet while looking for jobs. Support for school loans will yield a more qualified and educated workforce that will contribute to our economy.  Targeted investments in job training will help workers better adapt to employment in emerging sectors. We urge Congress to make growth, not contraction, a priority in these coming months. This is the surest way to economic recovery and deficit reduction.”

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