Congress Passes Budget Control Act — What It Means for the YWCA

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Congress Passes Budget Control Act — What It Means for the YWCA

Last Week, the government default rhetoric came to rest as Congress passed the Budget Control Act. The Senate voted 74-26 and the House voted 269-161. Shortly after, President Obama quickly signed the bill into law.

The plan has two stages. The first round of $917 billion in cuts to discretionary funds over the next 10 years will begin in the 2012 budget—with no revenue increases. At this time, no one can predict exactly what programs will be cut and by how much, but programs affecting women, children and struggling families will most assuredly be negatively impacted.

The second stage of this legislation calls for the establishment of a Super Committee of 12 members of Congress charged with finding at least $1.5 trillion more cuts by November 23, with the goal of enacting the recommendations by December 23, 2011.

Should the committee fail, the debt plan establishes a” trigger” mechanism that forces Congress to make across-the-board spending cuts of $1.2 trillion, with half of the cuts from defense spending and the other half from non-security discretionary spending beginning in 2013.

Republican leadership has selected Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) to participate in the committee.

Democratic leadership has selected Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.). We are currently awaiting House Democratic selections.

YWCAs — and our supporters — all across the nation MUST contact their Senators and Representatives while Congress is out of session with this simple message:

We cannot balance our budget and put people back to work without raising revenues to accomplish this task. Help us keep our doors open to schools, shelters, community service and health centers. Tell them of the struggles that your clients and your YW are facing.

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