NLIHC Call to Action: Urge Congress to Replace Sequestration with a Balanced Approach to Deficit Reduction

Sign on today to a letter urging lawmakers to act quickly to stop sequestration from taking effect in the upcoming fiscal year. Sequestration in FY16 would impose additional deep cuts to important nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs, including HUD and Rural Housing Service housing programs. Join advocates from around the country in calling on Congress to stop these cuts from going forward. Sign your organization on by COB on Monday, January 5.

BACKGROUND

In 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act, which resulted in 6% across-the-board cuts to housing and most other discretionary programs in 2013. Those cuts resulted in 100,000 fewer housing choice vouchers being in use in 2014, as well as cuts to every other HUD and Rural Housing Service program. The 2013 sequester had significant negative consequences on the availability and affordability of housing and it should not be repeated.

NLIHC continues to work with NDD United, a coalition representing a broad range of NDD programs, in addition to housing and community development, such as job training, public health, scientific research and national parks. It is important that this letter, organized by NDD United, include a large number of housing and community development organizations to express our sector’s serious concerns about another round of cuts in FY16.

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 negotiated by Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) provided partial, temporary relief from sequestration in FY14 and FY15. This relief expires at the end of FY15. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that if sequestration moves forward in FY16, NDD spending will drop to 3.3% of gross domestic product in 2015 and 3.1% in 2016.

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT

NDD programs have already been cut disproportionately in recent years as lawmakers work to reduce the deficit, even though experts across the political spectrum agree these programs are not a driving factor behind our nation’s mid- and long-term fiscal challenges.

NDD programs cover a wide range of important services, including homelessness prevention, housing assistance, community development, education, job training, human services, public health, scientific and medical research, national parks, and more. As a result of sequestration and other austerity measures enacted since 2011, FY14 funding for NDD programs was about 15% below FY10 levels, adjusted for inflation. Unless Congress takes action to end sequestration, funding levels will decline even further and will be equal to their lowest level in at least 50 years.

HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION

Congress needs to hear from you! Join advocates from many sectors around the country by signing a letter urging lawmakers to replace sequestration with a balanced approach to deficit reduction.

Sign your organization on to the letter.
Sign on at http://nlihc.org/takeaction/ndd2106
View the letter at http://bit.ly/1wXaLG4
Share the letter and encourage organizations in your network to sign.
Sign your organization on to the letter by COB on Monday, January 5.

Questions or comments, please email outreach@nlihc.org.

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