Urgent: Say No to Vote-A-Rama Amendments That Target Poor People
Update: The Senate passed S. Con. Res. 8, Sen. Patty Murray's (D-Wash.) proposed budget resolution, by a vote of 50-49 early Saturday morning. The Senate considered 101 amendments; all of the harmful amendments that concerned Bread for the World either failed or were withdrawn. Thank you to all of our members who contacted their members of Congress asking for a circle of protection.
As budget debate and voting continue in the Senate today, Bread for the World is deeply concerned about several proposed amendments that would cut critical programs that serve vulnerable populations.
The Senate budget committee has introduced a proposal to fund the government through fiscal year 2014. Bread for the World has endorsed the budget proposal, which includes circle of protection principles. The resolution will be voted on as part of what is a called a “fast track process,” which includes a 50-hour debate period that began yesterday. During debate members are able to offer amendments to the budget, and many of those amendments will propose cuts to anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs.
A rapid series of votes on each amendment—known as a “vote-a-rama”— is expected to begin today, with votes running late into the evening. We must tell our senators that there will be a political cost if amendments that hurt hungry and poor people are passed. These amendments not only pose immediate threats, but could be reintroduced during future budget negotiations. We must demand that our senators vote correctly on each of the following amendments. Contact your senators today: call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or use our toll free number: 1-800-826-3688.
Support the Cardin-Rubio Amendment: Supports aid transparency and accountability, principles that make our foreign assistance programs more effective.
Oppose Paul Amendment No. 382: Cuts the FY 2014 International Affairs Budget by 33 percent.
Oppose Roberts Amendment No. 180: Cuts SNAP by eliminating the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also called the “heat-and-eat” provision. More than 1 million households with high utility costs in 15 states and the District of Columbia would see an average monthly benefit cut of $90.
Oppose Roberts Amendment No. 181: Cuts SNAP by eliminating the employment and training program; as many as 2.6 million participants will lose benefits if they are unable to meet the minimum hours for employment or job training.
Oppose Roberts Amendment No. 183: Cuts SNAP by cutting categorical eligibility: A SNAP applicant is categorically (or automatically) eligible for SNAP if he or she receives benefits from other specific low-income assistance programs. At least 1 million participants would lose access to their benefits.
Oppose Roberts Amendment No. 182: Includes most of the above cuts, plus slashes an additional $36 billion from SNAP and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) at a time of continuing high need.
Oppose Coburn Amendment #421: Limits food choice in SNAP, thus limiting food access.
Oppose Sessions Amendment No. 209: This amendment unfairly targets low-income immigrant families, even those who are documented residents, by creating a deficit-neutral reserve fund for prohibiting illegal immigrants or immigrants granted legal status from qualifying for a refundable tax credit.
Oppose Sessions Amendment No. 206: Cuts programs for hungry and poor people by dramatically reducing “welfare spending.” But even with benefits from means-tested programs, the typical poor person’s standard of living is 57 percent below that of the typical middle-income American.
Oppose Thune Amendment No. 306: A balanced approach to the deficit-reduction must include both cuts and revenue. The Thune Amendment reduces revenue proposals in the budget by $500 million.
Oppose Rubio Amendment No. 228: Like the Thune amendment, the Rubio amendment creates a structure in which raising revenue in the budget is difficult. In order for programs that address hunger and poverty to be maintained in the next decade, tax revenue must be included in deficit reduction efforts.
If you have questions, please contact your regional organizer. As we are reminded in Proverbs, we must "speak up, judge righteously, champion the poor and the needy." Please act today.
Photo: The United States Capitol Dome, Architect of the Capitol flickr, U.S. government work.
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