March 19, 2003
On behalf of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the nation’s oldest, largest and most diverse civil and human rights coalition, we write to urge your opposition to the irresponsible and inequitable budget plan (H. Con. Res. 95) reported by the House Budget Committee. The plan seriously undermines our nation’s ability to meet critical domestic and foreign responsibilities and does not offer adequate aid to financially strapped states. Moreover, it is unconscionable to vote on a budget resolution at a time when the costs of a war and its aftermath are unknown and have not been included in the budget plan.
Like the President’s tax cut plan, H. Con. Res. 95 provides the clearest evidence to date of the intent to balance tax breaks for millionaires on the backs of poor and middle-income families. Under that plan, $1.6 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade would be funded by cuts in essential programs such as Medicare ($214 billion), Medicaid ($95 billion), veterans ($15 billion), food stamps ($12 billion), farm programs ($7 billion) and many more.
LCCR urges you to oppose H. Con. Res. 95. Further, we believe that aid to the states is especially critical as they try to meet obligations to Medicare, Medicaid, education, and homeland security. Since almost all states are required by law to balance their budget, the current fiscal conditions are forcing states throughout the country to make difficult decisions about whether to raise taxes or cut essential services. Yet H. Con. Res. 95, like the President’s economic plan, provides no fiscal relief for the states. The economic priorities of H. Con. Res. 95 shortchange economic security, and the hopes for the future of millions of ordinary Americans, in order to provide tax breaks for a handful of the wealthiest in our country. They represent an irresponsible and inequitable blueprint for our nation’s economy. We therefore urge you to reject H.Con. Res. 95.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact LCCR Deputy Director Nancy Zirkin, at 202/263-2880. Thank you for your consideration.
Dr. Dorothy I. Height