LEGISLATIVE UPDATE AND ACTIONS FOR WEEK OF MARCH 20

North Carolina:

Contact your NC House representatives and urge them to support House Bill 200 (nonpartisan redistricting).

National:

Contact your U.S. House representatives to comment on or oppose these bills:

ACA Repeal/Replace Legislation

Current focus is on the House of Representatives, where the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act repeal is moving through various committees.  Speaker Paul Ryan is pushing for a vote by next week.  If and when it passes the House, the focus will move to the Senate.

There will continue to be changes to the bill as Republicans try to find enough votes for passage.  Representatives need to hear about which issues are the most troubling to you personally.

The number of people in North Carolina who could lose coverage is estimated to be in the tens of thousands.

If you would lose coverage, or know someone who would lose coverage, please share that fact with your Representatives.

The impact on low-income and older Americans could be catastrophic.

Dramatic budget cuts to key social programs

Some of the targeted agencies and programs are listed below.  Select the ones that most concern you to mention in your message:

  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Endowment for Humanities
  • Community Development Block Grants given to states, which in part fund Meals on Wheels
  • AmeriCorps
  • National Institutes of Health (Proposed cuts would imperil the ability to conduct leading cancer research as well as research on communicable diseases such as Ebola and Zika viruses.
  • Planned Parenthood

Proposed cuts to the State Department budget

The Administration is presenting a “hard power” budget and slashing what it views as “soft power” such as diplomacy.  However, the US military has publicly stated that diplomacy is an essential component of international relations; without it, the US is less safe.

Secretary of Defense and retired U.S. Marine Corps General James Mattis said in 2013:  “If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition ultimately. So I think it’s a cost-benefit ratio. The more that we put into the State Department’s diplomacy, hopefully the less we have to put into a military budget as we deal with the outcome of an apparent American withdrawal from the international scene.”

Targeted programs include USAID foreign aid, which is less than 1% of the US budget, and programs for clean water, sanitation and education to promote stability and move countries out of poverty, thereby decreasing the potential for violence and conflict.

◊ Deep cuts to the EPA budget

 The EPA’s budget has been reduced by 20% over the past several years.  Draconian cuts now proposed would eliminate or greatly diminish work on clean power, as well as projects that protect air and water from pollution.

Contact Information: Click here  for contact information for US Senators and Representatives:

Or call the Capitol Hill switchboard to reach the offices of US Senators and Representatives: 202-224-3121.