Call your Representative!
I’ve signed up with several organizations, so I get multiple "action alerts" in my inbox every week, urging me to email or call elected officials about some issue or another. After a while, in spite of my good intentions, I find myself tuning them out, tired of the constant alarmism and feeling like my input isn’t going to matter anyway. I suspect many of you feel the same way.
But I just sent off an email to my Representative, and I’m going to urge anyone reading this to do so as well. Congress is in the middle of considering a massive budget reconciliation bill that has all sorts of nasty surprises tucked away in it. Some of these are purely designed to save money by cutting programs that mostly serve the poor (Food Stamps, Child Support Enforcement, Medicaid), while others are included because the reconciliation act is a "must-pass" bill and can’t be filibustered in the Senate, so it’s a good way to force through things that couldn’t pass as stand-alone proposals (like drilling in ANWR).
The House was supposed to vote on it today, but the Republican leadership postponed the vote because they didn’t think they had enough votes to win. They’re going to spend the weekend trying to cut deals and twist the arms of moderate Republicans to get them to go along. (For once, the Dems are standing united.) So it’s critically important that Representatives, especially those moderate Republicans, hear from their constituents about this bill.
So here’s a bunch of useful links:
- For the nitty-gritty about the budget proposal and how it would hurt the poor, the best source of information is the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.
- For a progressively-slanted guide to the politics of the budget process, try Moving Ideas.
- Here’s a link for the "Emergency Campaign for America’s Priorities" which is a coalition of many of the major progressive advocacy organizations.
- And here’s an action alert from Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center.