Illinois Advocates- Call Your Representative

Illinois Advocates –

Call Your Representative – Vote NO on Bad Budget & Appropriations

Your U.S. Representative could provide a critical NO vote on:

· the 2018 House Budget Resolution, and

· a package of spending bills that would jeopardize adequate funding for health, education, housing and other essential public services.

Please call now! (see toll-free number below)

Here are the Illinois Representatives we hope will vote NO and we are asking you to call:

Roskam (6th CD); Davis (13th CD); Hultgren (14th CD); Shimkus (15th CD); Kinzinger* (16th CD); LaHood (18th CD). Note that the members with an asterisk (*) have stated their opposition to fast-tracked cuts to programs like Medicaid, SNAP or Pell grants, and strong support for a bipartisan budget agreement to increase funds for both defense and non-defense spending. If they stand firm, the budget resolution may not even pass the House and there is a good chance of getting to an agreement that will undo cuts to domestic appropriations. That’s why calling these reps is so important!

(But if your rep isn’t listed, please call yours with the same message – we are making progress now because constituents are calling – don’t stop now!)

Here’s a toll-free number that will connect you to your Representative:
(866) 957-9069
Many thanks to AFSCME for donating the use of the toll-free line.

Here’s what you should say:

I strongly urge Rep. _____ to oppose the House Budget Resolution because of the proposed $5.7 trillion in cuts, starting with at least $203 billion in fast-tracked cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP/food stamps and many more essential services. I also urge Rep. ______ to oppose a group of mostly defense funding bills coming up for a House vote next week. No bill should be voted on the House floor until there is a bipartisan agreement that increases funds for domestic programs, not just the military.

Background: (also see a very helpful budget analysis by Bob Greenstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, here.)

The proposed House budget resolution has the same priorities as the Trump budget: gigantic cuts (adding up to $5.7 trillion over a decade) to programs most of us need, while massively increasing Pentagon spending and setting the stage for enormous tax cuts for the rich and corporations. The budget resolution does not provide details about pretty much anything, but does list as sources for cuts Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP/food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Social Security Disability Insurance, Pell grants for low-income college students, consumer and environmental protections, federal worker and retiree benefits, and lots more. The budget jumpstarts the path to trillions in cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and other basic health and living standards programs by instructing 11 committees to come back with the legislation to cut at least $203 billion over ten years. These bills will be fast-tracked in the Senate, so they only need 51 votes (or a simple majority) to pass.

Appropriations: The House budget also calls for increases in Pentagon spending $72 billion beyond the caps for defense spending set in law for FY 2018 (plus even more in uncapped war funds). Domestic programs and modest international aid (known together as “non-defense discretionary” or NDD) are cut $5 billion below the cap set for these programs. Over a decade, domestic programs (including much of education, housing, public health, clean air/water, job training, transportation, etc.) are slashed by $1.3 trillion, while Pentagon spending rises nearly $1 trillion. Counting inflation, the NDD cuts by 2027 would be 44 percent below spending in 2010: a giant disinvestment in our future. The House is expected to vote on the military increase as early as next week. But appropriations bills need 60 votes in the Senate – that means they must have votes from Democrats in order to pass. House members should insist on getting a bipartisan agreement to lift caps on spending for domestic/NDD programs, not just for the Pentagon, before a floor vote on military spending.

Thanks for taking action!

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