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Tell Congress: Protect people in need!


After-school tutoring programs or wasteful tax breaks? Home heating assistance for the elderly poor or subsidies to multinational companies? These are the choices Congress faces in the debate over how to reduce our nation’s deficit. And unfortunately, in this past month’s deal to raise the debt ceiling, members of Congress forced through a package that protected wasteful tax loopholes, while cutting $1 trillion over 10 years from the part of the budget that funds many important services such as affordable housing, nutrition assistance for new moms and babies, and home heating and cooling assistance for seniors.

The debt deal also set up a bipartisan “supercommittee” comprised of six members of the House and six members of the Senate to find $1.2 to $1.5 trillion in additional budget savings over the next 10 years. This committee is tasked with examining the whole budget including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, taxes, defense, and domestic spending. With our own Senator Portman appointed to the “supercommittee,” we, as Ohioans, have an especially important role to play in the upcoming national dialogue.

Some key protections for people in need were incorporated as part of the deal. Click here for a full explanation of the debt deal and learn what it means for low-income families. If you're interested in learning more, check out our upcoming webinar entitled "Deficit Reduction" isn't going away. How do we hold safety net programs harmless? on Wednesday, August 24th from 3-4:00 p.m. Click here for more details and to register.

Your members of Congress are home in Ohio this month for recess. Please visit their district offices or click here to call or email them today. Our records show there is a public meeting (with your Representative or one of your Senators) near your area, we also urge you to take advantage of this opportunity to meet with Members of Congress in the district to discuss the importance of health, human service, and early care & education programs in the federal budget. For a calendar of meetings, click here.

Tell your members of Congress to weigh in on the debate in the supercommittee with the following request.

Any budget deal should:

  • Protect the safety net for struggling families, children, seniors, and people with disabilities
  • Leave room for investments in people and promote economic growth

We need to remind them that this debate is fundamentally about people like Lyn Grotke. Lyn states:

Roughly two and a half years ago, I slipped in my driveway and broke my leg very badly. I couldn’t walk at all for 4 months. I realized that things were going to go downhill pretty rapidly and I applied for a section 8 voucher. It was a pretty intense time for my family [Lyn has 4 kids]. You know, everything snowballs. In the end I lost my home anyway. Right now I’m working two part-time jobs, I was working three. But I barely make it each month. More than half of my monthly income goes to my housing. And I’ve been on the section 8 waiting list since February 2008.

We can’t ask people like Lyn to wait even longer for assistance. It’s time to remind our Congressional delegation in Ohio that we must protect struggling families, and make the necessary investments to turn our economy around.

Thank you,

Will Petrik, Outreach Director