Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Letter from Dr. Joanne Carter

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:
  • A 40 percent cut to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, which would mean 372,000 people will not be tested and treated for tuberculosis, 58,286 HIV-positive pregnant women will not receive drugs to prevent transmission of the virus to their children, 414,000 people will not be provided with antiretroviral (ARV) medications.
  • Drastic cuts to Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care assistance, which would mean 368,000 low-income children and their families losing services, 16,000 Head Start/Early Head Start classrooms closing and 55,000 Head Start/Early Head Start teachers and staff losing their jobs.
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.”

Please note:
  • If you know your representative is already fighting these poverty-related cuts, please change your message to thank them for standing up for the poorest and encourage them to continue to fight cuts in the 2012 budget.
  • If you have time, please call your senators. While the Senate will not take up this proposal in its current form, the debate and public outcry against these cuts will shape the priorities of deficit-reduction legislation Congress will take up in the next few months.
  • This budget shrinks funding to such an extent that every human needs program here in the United States and around the world is threatened. If you wish to emphasize other important issues in your call, please do so.
  • Thank you to the Coalition on Human Needs for the use of this toll-free line.
We know you are busy. But these far-reaching proposals to cap and cut essential services are a call to conscience. On Tuesday, please call and get others to do so also! We suggest you download and print our call-in flyer to distribute to others this weekend leading up to the call-in day.

Hunger Fast

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.


  • To read a summary of the House Budget Committee's proposal and what it will mean for struggling families in America, click here.
  • For more details, click here to see the letter RESULTS and dozens of organizations have signed expressing our concerns
  • Read an op-ed by former President George W. Bush speechwriter, Michael Gerson, explaining “The real world effects of budget cuts” on poor around the world.
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: And thanks for all that you do!

1 comment:

  1. Happy news! Initial analysis of the FY11 budget reveals that foreign aid has escaped the drastic cuts originally proposed in the House-passed budget bill, HR 1. Basically it is flat funding from last year. The cuts proposed in HR 1 were largely avoided. Most important is the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria was not cut. It had been slated for a 40% cut in HR 1.

    There is no doubt that we, the public, were heard! Our calls to members of Congress, letters to the editor, op-eds, and editorials decrying the drastic cuts in HR 1 helped sway this decision. Given the draconian alternatives on the table, this is a remarkable achievement and a testament to the support that exists for global health and development programs.

    Literally this means that an estimated 70,000 people will not pay with their lives.