Support Murray FY 2014 Budget Resolution
Advocacy Letter - 03/20/13
Source: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Recipient: U.S. Senate
On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, we write to express our support for S. Con. Res. 8, the FY2014 budget resolution offered by Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA). The Murray budget represents a sound and responsible approach to spending and tax policy in the coming decade, and is one that aims to protect the vulnerable while at the same time encouraging job creation and addressing infrastructure needs.
The Leadership Conference is a coalition of more than 210 national organizations representing persons of color, women, children, low- to moderate-income workers, labor unions, people with disabilities, consumers, older people, people of faith, English language learners, LGBT people, educators, environmentalists, and many other communities. All of these communities have a tremendous stake in the outcome of the ongoing budget process. They have already borne the brunt of our nation’s recent deficit reduction efforts, and they would be harmed even more if the budget sequester continues – or worse, if a budget similar to the House plan is allowed to take effect. People in these communities need jobs – through investments in education and health, and in rebuilding our infrastructure – not more cuts to the programs that help the bottom 98 percent.
While we are disappointed that the Murray budget would not undo the arbitrary sequester cuts to non-defense discretionary spending for the rest of FY2013, it moves forward with a far more sensible approach by proposing $1.85 trillion in savings that are evenly split between revenue increases and spending cuts. The $975 billion in increased revenues would come from closing loopholes and eliminating unfair expenditures that favor the wealthiest Americans and the biggest corporations. This would be paired with $975 billion in spending cuts that include $493 billion in reductions on domestic spending, $240 billion in careful defense cuts, and $242 billion in reduced interest payments.
The Leadership Conference believes that increased revenues are an absolutely vital component of any budget that is enacted this year, and the Murray budget wisely recognizes this. The recent tax increase on those making more than $450,000 was a positive step, but it does not generate enough revenue to allow for investments in our economy or to deal with existing budget shortfalls. There remain hundreds of billions of dollars in tax loopholes and expenditures, used by big business and the wealthy, which could provide additional revenue and ease the burden of continued spending cuts in the next decade.
At the same time, the Murray budget’s carefully-targeted spending cuts would prevent the reckless across-the-board cuts in education, child nutrition, environmental protection, housing, and many more vital services that are currently scheduled to take place under the sequester, or which would be even more severe under the budget recently proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). Deficit reduction must not come from forcing low- and middle-income Americans to bear the burden, yet again, of cutting programs they depend upon.
Unlike the Ryan budget, the Murray budget does not attempt to score political points or try to starve important government programs out of existence. It does not, for example, attempt to repeal or gut the Affordable Care Act or the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. It does not seek to privatize or voucherize Medicare, a move that would eventually lead to the program’s demise. And it does not shred vital safety nets such as Medicaid or SNAP food assistance, for those who are struggling to regain their financial footing, while bizarrely claiming that massive cuts will somehow “strengthen” the programs.
For these reasons, we urge you to support the Murray FY2014 budget resolution, and strongly reject any proposal that adversely impacts on vulnerable communities. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Rob Randhava, Senior Counsel at The Leadership Conference, at 202-466-6058.
President & CEO
Executive Vice President