As part of the Congressional debt and deficit negotiations, Medicaid--which provides healthcare for millions of children, people with disabilities, seniors and the poor-- could be capped or restructured to limit coverage. Two proposals, a funding cap or block grant, are being discussed. Either proposal would decrease resources for Medicaid and force states, which administer the program, to either decrease healthcare services offered or limit program eligibility. This will mean severe consequences not only for the millions of individuals reliant on Medicaid for healthcare, but for our communities.
Protecting this effective and important program will require a local effort across the country. Take action to tell Congress to protect Medicaid.
May 24, 2011: Support Human Needs Programs in the Federal Budget
In the coming days the Senate will be voting on a number of FY2012 budget proposals, including the House-passed H.Con. Res 34, which the JCPA has opposed in the past. The proposed budget resolutions severely cut funding to important human needs programs.
With so much at stake, please send a letter to your Senators and stand up for vulnerable communities around the country and the programs that support them.
March 4, 2011: Add Your Voice to the JCPA's Tuesday Day on the Hill
More than 300 Jewish community leaders will be meeting with their Members of Congress on Tuesday, March 8th as part of the JCPA’s 2011 Plenum. They will be meeting with their Representatives and Senators to discuss four key areas of public policy: Support & Protect Funding for Human Needs Programs in the FY2012 Budget; Ensure Robust Foreign Aid Funding; Spur Economic Development to Create Good, Sustainable Jobs; and Foster Civility in the Public Discourse.
Even though you may not be able to join us in person, you still have an important opportunity to make your voice heard and show the strength of the Jewish community on these important issues. We ask that you call your Members of Congress this Tuesday, as Plenum attendees will be meeting in person during our Day on the Hill, and ask them to protect human needs programs and international assistance programs from draconian cuts proposed in the FY2011 spending bill.
Background: Over the next few weeks, in order to avoid a government shutdown, the House of Representatives and the Senate will need to negotiate a bill that continues spending for the remainder of FY2011 (until October 1st). The House already passed a bill (H.R. 1) in late February which includes $61 billion in spending cuts. H.R. 1 makes rather drastic cuts in a number of areas and potentially could lead to 700,000 jobs being lost. Many in the Senate have said the bill is a non-starter, but the JCPA is concerned that some of the draconian cuts could go into effect.
Many of the cuts directly impact important human needs programs that provide critical assistance to vulnerable communities across the country. Two human needs areas particularly at risk are nutrition and jobs programs. The Commodities Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), which provides nutritious monthly food baskets to vulnerable low-income seniors, received a $20 million cut in the House continuing resolution. In addition the WIC program, which millions of low-income pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and young children depend on for important nutrition programs, saw a $747.2 million cut.
The House-passed FY2011 spending bill dramatically weakens a number of important job training and creation programs. In particular, H.R. 1 significantly cuts funding to the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). WIA authorizes the nation’s federally funded workforce development system and provides funding for “one-stop” career centers, where employers and job seekers can access a wide array of employment and training services. If these cuts are signed in to law, 3,000 one-stop shops will close at the beginning of the summer. The likelihood of these important programs ever reopening if slashed is slim.
Additionally, H.R. 1 dramatically cuts the United States’ international assistance budget. Robust funding enables the U.S. to safeguard interests and promote our values abroad, and confront threats to our national security. Extensive resources are required to strengthen political, economic, and defense ties with a range of nations, including our staunch ally Israel; confront humanitarian crises such as the genocide in Darfur; advance human development and international exchange; defend human rights; and tackle afflictions such as hunger and HIV/AIDS.
1. Call your Members of Congress through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
2. Tell them to “protect human needs programs and international assistance programs from draconian cuts proposed in the FY2011 spending bill.”
-Feel free to share a personal story about the importance of these programs and how cuts could affect your community.
February 16, 2011: Tell Congress to Protect Human Needs and Foreign Aid
The House of Representatives is set to vote tomorrow on a Continuing Resolution that will continue to fund FY 2011 federal programs through the end of September. The proposed plan would slash more than $65 billion in the next seven months. Many of the cuts take place in important human needs programs that seriously assist vulnerable communities around the country. Some programs like Family Planning (Title X), the Green Jobs Innovation Fund, Americorp and Hunger Free Communities will be eliminated all together. Other important programs, including LIHEAP (heating and cooling assistance for low-income individuals), Community Health Centers, housing for the elderly and persons with disabilities, programs through the Environmental Protection Agency, and Head Start would see serious reductions.
Additionally, the current proposal before the House of Representatives dramatically cuts the United States’ international assistance budget. Robust funding enables the United States to safeguard interests and promote our values abroad, and confront threats to our national security. Extensive resources are required to strengthen political, economic and defense ties with a range of nations, including our staunch ally Israel; confront humanitarian crises such as the genocide in Darfur; advance human development and international exchange; defend human rights; and tackle afflictions such as hunger and HIV/AIDS.
While it is critical to make sure our long-term deficit is decreased, the proposed cuts would disproportionately target programs and services that serve millions of low- and moderate-income Americans, and undermine our interests abroad. These draconian cuts will have serious impacts. Urge Congress to protect human needs programs and international assistance in order keep America strong.
December 03, 2010: Lame Duck Bonanza: Four Action Alerts in One
02:50 PM Dec 03, 2010
This is a very busy week for Members of Congress as they continue to push legislation in the Lame Duck Session. Of the issues that they will be considering are three that are JCPA priorties:
Unemployment Insurance Extension:
Unemployment insurance expired on November 30th. Without immediate Congressional action more than 2 million Americans will lose the benefits that help keep food on their tables and a roof over their heads. JCPA is deeply concerned about ensuring that people who are out of work in this recession don’t fall into poverty, and is advocating to extend unemployment benefits for those struggling during this difficult time.
Repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell:
More than 13,000 Americans have lost their right to serve our country because of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. The President, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon, and the American public all favor repeal. Now Congress will consider whether it wants to finally end this discriminatory policy. JCPA passed a resolution at the beginning of this year calling for the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Please join us in urging your Members of Congress to end this policy.
The DREAM Act provides a path to citizenship for those who have committed to bettering themselves through either serving in the military or attaining a college education. A vote is expected as early as Thursday, and it crucial that you contact your Senators if the bill is to pass. JCPA has a long history of supporting the DREAM Act and efforts to enact comprehensive immigration reform.