Thanks for making calls and activating your legislative networks on the fiscal year (FY) 04 budget resolution. Yesterday (March 26), the Senate passed (56-44) their FY04 budget resolution (SCR. 26). This resolution, unlike the House version, includes only $350 billion in tax cutsless than half of the Administration's requestand does not account for the lost revenue. The House resolution (HCR.95- passed March 21) pays for its $726 billion tax cuts--unlike the Senateby drastic cuts in federal programs, many that serve low-income families, children, and seniors.
There has been so much attention paid to the tax issues in the budget, that there has been very little awareness of the SPENDING cuts called for in the House resolution. Specifically, the House budget calls for more than $159 billion in cuts in low-income programs, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, child care, food stamps, Social Service Block Grants, and foster care.
The House and Senate now begin the process of reconciling the differences between their two budget resolutions in a House-Senate Conference. Typically, the Conferees split the difference between the two diverse approaches. Then each Chamber will have an "up or down" vote on the Conference Report.
We believe the best way to prevent the House cuts from being included in the conference report, is for Senators to voice to the Senate Leadership and the Budget Committee Chairman, their strong objection to these cuts and to indicate their refusal to vote for the conference report if it has cuts in programs for low-income families and children.
URGE YOUR SENATOR(S) TO:
- Tell Senate Majority Leader Frist and Budget Committee Chairman Nickles that they will not vote for a budget that includes the cuts in low-income programs now in the House version.
- Remember low-income families cannot afford the billions of dollars in cuts included in the House budget, particularly at a time when the economy is so weak and families are struggling to make ends meet.
Further Information: Thom Shellabarger, 202.541.3189 or firstname.lastname@example.org