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The Budget Reconciliation Bill

Throughout the lengthy federal budget reconciliation process, we've fought against a painful budget reconciliation bill that cuts health care, child support enforcement, support for people with disabilities, student loans, and other critical services. 

The budget reconciliation conference report was passed right before the holiday recess.  First the U.S. House passed it in the early morning after an all-night session with little time to review the nearly 800 page conference report.  Then the U.S. Senate bill passed the legislation, but because they made a few technical changes, the legislation now goes back to the House for another vote.  This vote is currently scheduled for February 1.

The budget reconciliation bill includes:

         Cuts to Medicaid and proposed new copayments and premium requirements that will cause low-income people to lose access to health care.  New paperwork requirements may cause eligible citizens to lose access to health care simply because they donít have the right documentation.

         Cuts to Child Support Enforcement that will make it harder for Minnesota parents to provide a decent standard of living for their children.

         Cuts to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) that will mean some persons with disabilities will have to wait up to an additional year to receive all of the benefits they are owed.

         Cuts to Student Loans that will put higher education out of reach for many Minnesota students.

         Dramatic changes to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Americaís welfare-to-work program, that will increase expectations for work participation but without enough funding to cover child care costs.

These painful sacrifices will not be used to help pay down the national debt.  Instead, the second phase of budget reconciliation includes $70 billion of new tax cuts, meaning that the federal deficit will get larger at the end of the budget reconciliation process.

(For more detailed information on what's at stake, visit www.mncn.org/bp/federalissues.htm, www.cbpp.org, or http://www.chn.org/pdf/factsheets/Minnesota.pdf.)

Representative Ramstad is thought to be one of just a few representatives who could determine whether this legislation passes or fails.  He needs to hear from his constituents that this budget reconciliation agreement violates our values and should not pass.

MESSAGE:

Ask Representative Ramstad to please vote NO on the budget reconciliation conference report.  The bill cuts millions in services including Medicaid, child support enforcement, child care, foster care, student loans, and other programs that are crucial to the well-being of Minnesota families, seniors, children, and people with disabilities.

You can reach Representative Ramstadís office through the capitol switchboard at 1-800-426-8073.  Please ask to talk to Neta Scarpari or Karin Hope, his key staff people on these issues.  Note: at times like these when critical votes are near, you may experience busy signals or full voice mail boxes.  Don't give up - that means that our voices are being heard.  If you are unable to reach one of these staff persons, you may send them an email (karin.hope@mail.house.gov or neta.scarpari@mail.house.gov) or fax - 202-225-6351.  Please let us know what kind of response you receive.

If you live or work in Representative Ramstadís district, be sure to mention that in your call.  If you live outside Representative Ramstad's district, please also call your own representative - contact information is available at http://www.mncn.org/fedcontact.htmPlease also send this alert on to your own networks and allies.

Note: The 1-800 listed here is provided by the American Friends Service Committee to allow for participation in this budget debate.  Please do not use it for another purpose.
 

Nan Madden
Minnesota Budget Project Director
Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
(651) 642-1904 x230
www.mncn.org/bp/

 

 

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