2013 House Appropriations Sign-on Letter

Dear Members of Congress:

Across the nation, Head Start programs have ended their school years early, canceled summer programs, cut staff pay and benefits, and have begun to announce reductions in the number of children who will be served in the fall. Programs serving meals to seniors have started to reduce days of home delivery and have closed or reduced hours for dining rooms. The long-term unemployed have lost federal jobless benefits, while job training programs that might have helped them are cut back. Federal funds for education have been cut, with particularly harsh results for schools most reliant on these resources: those on Indian reservations or near military bases. Students counting on college work-study jobs are learning they will not get them. Poor families or people with disabilities perilously close to homelessness after waiting years for a rental voucher have been told they will have to wait longer.

These are just some of the impacts of sequestration. At a time when we need to invest in education, rebuild infrastructure, protect people from hardship, and jumpstart economic growth that finally reaches most of us, sequestration is taking us backwards.

While many are reeling from these impacts of sequestration, the appropriations levels set by the House Republicans for FY 2014 are taking even bigger steps in the wrong direction. Their plan not only assumes next year’s budget continues the devastating sequestration reductions, but it ignores the Budget Control Act’s requirement that half of the $110 billion in additional annual cuts must be imposed on military programs and half imposed on the other areas of government. Instead, the Pentagon budget is increased by 5.4 percent over this year’s spending. In marked contrast, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education are slashed 18.6 percent below this year’s funding, including sequestration. Other important domestic areas are also cut deeply: energy, conservation, and environmental protection programs are cut between 11 – 22 percent.

These are upside-down priorities.

Continuing deep cuts made even worse by shifting funds from vital programs to the Pentagon is wrong. These cuts to needed investments and protections passed in the House in a partisan vote trample on the core American values of providing opportunity for our children, security for our elders, and a strong future for all of our communities. Instead of more cuts to vital programs and more pork for Pentagon contractors, it is time to end tax breaks for the rich and for big corporations.

We urge you to oppose appropriations based on the House-passed levels. Congress should enact a budget based on the values of opportunity and security, to build an America that works for all of us.

Sincerely,

9to5
A World Fit for Kids!
Action for the Common Good
Advocacy for Justice and Peace Committee of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
African American Health Alliance
Afterschool Alliance
AIDS United
Alliance for a Just Society
Alliance for Children and Families
Alliance for Global Justice
American Association of School Administrators
American Association of State Colleges and Universities
American Counseling Association
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
American Friends Service Committee
Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)
Bernardine Franciscan Sisters
Campaign for America’s Future
Carmelite Fathers
Catholic Internet Television Network
Center for Effective Government
Center for Family Policy and Practice
Center for Law and Social Policy
Children’s Defense Fund
Church of the Brethren
Citizens Council for Human Rights & Salaam Legal Network
Coalition for Peace Action
Coalition for Quality Care
Coalition of Labor Union Women
Coalition on Human Needs
Committee for Education Funding
Community Action Partnership
Community of St. Francis
Council for Opportunity in Education
Courage Campaign
CREDO Action
Democratic Socialists of America
Democratic Talk Radio
Direct Care Alliance
Dominican Sisters of Peace
Every Child Matters Education Fund
Families USA
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Feminist Majority
Foreign Policy In Focus
Franciscan Action Network
Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls Justice Commission
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Global Exchange
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
GMHC
Gray Panthers
Greenpeace
Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart
Historians Against War
Housing Works
Jobs with Justice / American Rights at Work
Just Foreign Policy
Khmer Health Advocates
Ladies of Charity
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters, Leadership Council
Lutheran Peace Fellowship
Magnet Schools of America
Methodist Federation for Social Action
Metropolitan Community Churches
Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, US Province
MoveOn.org
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Association for College Admission Counseling
National Association for Music Education (NAfME)
National Association of Graduate-Professional Students
National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials
National Association of Private Special Education Centers
National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Healthy Housing
National Coalition for Literacy
National Coalition for the Homeless
National Community Tax Coalition
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of La Raza
National Disability Rights Network
National Education Association
National Employment Law Project
National Fair Housing Alliance
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund
National Health Care for the Homeless Council
National Immigration Law Center
National Low Income Housing Coalition
National People’s Action
National Priorities Project
National Rural Social Work Caucus
National Senior Citizens Law Center
National Women’s Health Network
National Women’s Law Center
Native Parent Network
Network for Environmental & Economic Responsibility of United Church of Christ
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
On Earth Peace
Orthodox Catholic Church
Peace Action
Peace Action Education Fund
Peace Action West
Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI)
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Presentation Sisters, Justice Contacts
Preservation of Affordable Housing
Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)
Progressive States Network
Promise the Children (Unitarian Universalist)
Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Coalition
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Resource Generation
RootsAction.org
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch)
School Social Work Association of America
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation
Sisters of Mary Reparatrix
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
Sisters of St. Francis
Sisters of the Holy Spirit & Mary Immaculate
Sky High Productions
Social Security Works
Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice
U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)
U.S. Peace Council
Union of Presentation Sisters US Province
United For Peace and Justice
United Neighborhood Centers of America
US Missionary Oblates, JPIC
USAction
USAction Education Fund
Violence Intervention Program
Voices for America’s Children
Voices for Progress
War Resisters League
WarIsACrime.org
Wheaton Franciscans
Wider Opportunities for Women
Win Without War
Women Legislator’s Lobby
Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND)
YWCA USA