As I send this, Congress and the White House have agreed to a compromise spending package for the rest of 2011 which may contain deep cuts to programs that support poor and vulnerable families here and around the world. I know many of you have fought hard against proposed cuts to vital programs in the FY 2011 budget — the budget for the rest of this year — expressing alarm at the $60 billion in cuts passed by the House of Representatives 235-189 in February. The package agreed to late last night cuts $37.8 billion in spending in 2011.
The FY 2011 Budget
The House proposed in February to slash funding for global health, important early childhood services in the US, basic education programs around the world, microcredit, and other effective programs that benefit communities most in need, including:
While the details of the specific cuts in the compromise funding package for the rest of 2011 are not decided, the package agreed to last night includes almost 2/3 of the level of spending cuts passed by the House. In other words, millions of lives are at stake. And, this is just the first of several battles to save lives, protect and create jobs, and shape the priorities of the United States.
FY 2012 Budget Resolution
Next week, the House of Representatives will vote on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal for 2012 (that also impacts future years), one that is even more extreme. It is difficult to emphasize strongly enough how much damage this budget would do to vital programs that mean life or death for millions, young and old alike, and to our nation's economy.
Your voice is urgently needed. We're asking RESULTS activists across the United States who care about poverty and hunger here and around the world to join together and call Congress next Tuesday, April 12, and to ask others to do so the same – it is vitally important to make our voices heard before the House's vote on the Ryan budget resolution. On Tuesday, call your Representative — you can call the Capitol Switchboard toll-free at (888) 245-0215 and ask to be directed to your Representative's office – and deliver a message like this*:
“I am a constituent and I strongly urge you to stand up against any budget cuts that will harm poor and vulnerable people here in the US and around the world and to vote NO on the House Budget Committee's Budget Resolution. The Ryan budget resolution would lead to deep cuts in important foreign aid investments that save lives and strengthen our economy here in the US and around the world. It would slash investments in programs like Head Start, child care, Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, education... in fact, all the investments that help Americans to be economically secure. It denies vital help for low-income and middle class people while giving trillions of dollars in tax cuts to millionaires and big corporations. Please reject these extreme proposals – they would weaken federal protections in a recession and stall economic growth for us all.”
On Saturday's national conference calls, we'll discuss the budget situation in more detail, and also how RESULTS staff and volunteers can stand in solidarity with critical programs and vulnerable people by participating next Wednesday in the Hunger Fast launched by RESULTS ally and former member of Congress Tony Hall. This will be a powerful follow-on to Tuesday's national call-in day. At least 30,000 people across the United States and 28 members of Congress are joining Rep. Hall in his fast and standing together to protect vulnerable people from budget cuts that lack conscience.
If you don't know who your senators or representative is, or can't get through to the Capitol switchboard, click here to find the direct number to your Congressional offices (not toll-free).
For more information about RESULTS and how you can make a difference, including our work in communities across the country to create the political will to end poverty, please visit our website: www.results.org. And thanks for all that you do!