“Raise the Caps” Day of Action September 10, 2015

NDD United To Urge Congress To Raise Spending Caps
Add Your Voice to “Raise the Caps” Day of Action

September 7, 2015

Washington, DC—Just weeks before federal funding runs out and draconian budget cuts stopped by a 2013 Congressional budget deal are scheduled to go back into effect, more than 2,500 national, state and local organizations are calling on Congress to avoid the impending fiscal crisis and end sequestration. NDD United, which represents organizations spanning interests as varied as education, public health, infrastructure, and law enforcement, released a letter demanding Congress raise the spending caps and end sequestration through a bipartisan budget deal before October 1, 2015. A deal would prevent drastic cuts to programs for women’s health, early education, transportation safety, law enforcement and veterans’ care, among others.

“We’re running out of time to prevent another fiscal crisis, and once again, real Americans will pay the price for Congress’ inaction,” said Emily Holubowich, Co-Chair of NDD United. “If Congress doesn’t raise the spending caps and end sequestration, veterans could lose medical care, preschools could close, women could be denied access to prenatal and family planning services, and so much more.”

“That’s why more than 2,500 organizations have come together to say, Raise the Caps,” added Joel Packer, Co-Chair of NDD United. “Enough is enough. We see the speeding train coming down the track, and we’re not doing nearly enough to stop it.”

More than 2,500 organizations represented by NDD United signed a letter to Congress calling to avoid such budget tragedy. The letter reads in part:

“The undersigned national, state, and local organizations, representing the hundreds of millions of Americans who support and benefit from NDD programs, urge you to replace sequestration with a balanced approach to deficit reduction that takes into account the deep cuts NDD has already incurred since 2010. We also urge you to ensure such sequestration relief is equally balanced between NDD and defense programs; a parity precedent set in the 2013 Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) negotiated by Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Paul Ryan… There is bipartisan agreement that sequestration is bad policy and ultimately hurts our nation. It’s time to end the era of austerity.”

In 2013, Congress approved a bipartisan budget deal that relieved the impacts of sequestration for 2014 and 2015. This “Murray-Ryan” deal temporarily masked sequestration’s true impact. With sequestration relief expiring October 1 and appropriations bills now being written to the sequestered spending caps, we are seeing the difficult tradeoffs necessitated by woefully inadequate and historically low levels of spending after years of deficit reduction. In fact, current NDD funding is the lowest level on record dating back to the Eisenhower administration, relative to the size of the economy.

Discretionary programs, including nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs—ranging from education and job training, to housing and science, to natural resources and veterans services, to public health, safety and security—have been cut dramatically and disproportionately in recent years as lawmakers work to reduce the deficit, even though experts across the political spectrum agree these programs aren’t a driving factor behind our nation’s mid- and long-term fiscal challenges.

In 2013, NDD United released a comprehensive, sector-by-sector impact report, Faces of Austerity, which detailed how real Americans are feeling the negative effects of austerity. For a copy of the report or to learn more about NDD United, please visit nddunited.org.

Only by ending sequestration and raising spending caps can more money be allocated to support the deliver of special education services and supports for students with disabilities. Check out the funding gap for your state.

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MESSAGE TO MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ON “RAISE THE CAPS” DAY ~ SEPTEMBER 10 2015

Contact your members of Congress (two Senators, one Representative) on Thursday, September 10, 2015. Use Contacting The Congress to quickly find your members. Use each member’s contact form to send a Raise the Cap message. Amplify your message by calling your members! Call the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and a switchboard operator will connect you directly with the office you request. Tweet out your message using #RaisetheCaps.

SAMPLE MESSAGE

It’s time for Congress to focus its attention on the impending fiscal crisis! As my elected member, you have no greater responsibility than the adequate and timely funding of the U.S. government. Yet members of Congress have repeatedly failed to live up to this responsibility for several consecutive years, putting critical programs at risk.

It’s time for Congress to end the political games, and stand up for what’s right for Americans from all walks of life by ending sequestration and raising the spending cap. There is bipartisan agreement that sequestration is bad policy and ultimately hurts our nation. End sequestration through a bipartisan budget deal before October 1, 2015.

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