Action Alert from the United Church of Christ Justice & Witness Ministries
Because the House leadership did not have enough votes to pass the FY 2007 budget resolution this week, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote next week on the $2.7 trillion FY07 budget reconciliation agreement. If UCC advocates and many others are successful in convincing members of the House to increase discretionary spending above the proposed budget cap of $873 billion, some of the worst of the projected cuts in education, health care and community development programs will be avoided. If the House keeps the budget cap intact, Labor, Health, Human Services and Education programs will once again suffer cuts in congressional appropriations in addition to the massive cuts that were forced by last year’s budget cutting agreement.
A budget plan is simply a blueprint that instructs appropriators in Congress on how much money they have to spend in the coming months on government programs. The plan currently under consideration in the House cuts domestic “discretionary” programs by $10.3 billion in fiscal year 2007 and $167 billion over five years. The plan would also reduce entitlement programs by $5.1 billion over five years.
The House plan makes the impact of the President’s budget request even worse by failing to include his proposed funding for a 2007 shortfall in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Current House guidelines fail to extend continuing Medicaid health care coverage for a year for poor families after they work their way off welfare. Hundreds of thousands of low-income families and their children should not be penalized and thrown into the ranks of the uninsured simply because they secured employment and are now off public assistance.
Call your Representative at (800) 459-1887 and tell him or her to preserve the social safety net!