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.
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