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NOW Action Alert

House Republican Budget Wages "War on Women"

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TAKE ACTION:

Send a message to your Congress members that the House budget (H.R. 1) -- which makes deep cuts in our social safety net and other key human resource investment programs -- is unacceptable. Adopted by the House on a party-line vote, this legislation slashes funding for programs vitally important to women, families and low-income people, while asking few sacrifices of wealthy individuals and corporations. The New York Times has described the bill as waging a "war on women."

Senate leaders have said that they will not take up H.R. 1; but just recently the Senate agreed to $4 billion in cuts as part of a compromise measure to keep the government in operation for the next two weeks. NOW believes that the House Republican leadership will keep pushing for many more multi-billion-dollar cuts to these vital programs, using the threat of shutting down the government as a way to get Senate approval.

Please send a message to your House member and both of your senators letting them know that you oppose these draconian cuts to critical programs needed by women and their families. Take action NOW!

BACKGROUND:

NOW is deeply concerned by the huge cuts to domestic spending that the House leadership is promoting. Cutting nutrition programs for low-income pregnant women, new mothers and infants is just plain irresponsible. Totally eliminating Title X Family Planning funds that provide a range of life-saving reproductive health care services is a public health nightmare in the making. Totally eliminating the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program is flat-out irresponsible. Funding for Head Start has never been adequate to the need, and yet Republicans want to cut this most successful program by $1 billion.

Other proposed spending reductions would affect seniors, victims of natural disasters, low-income college students and those seeking vocational-technical training, dislocated workers, special education students, housing for the elderly and persons with disabilities, and home heating assistance for low-income families. The Women's Education Equity Act, which helps schools comply with Title IX (the law that promotes equal educational opportunities for girls and young women) is being "zeroed" out. H.R. 1 cuts $1.7 billion from the Social Security Administration, hobbling its ability to process applications just when their volume is rising as baby boomers begin to retire.

Legal Momentum (formerly NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund) has identified some -- but not all -- of the key programs that would be imperiled by deep cuts in H.R. 1:

Cuts that Endanger Women’s Health:

  • Funding to implement the Affordable Care Act (passed last year, which among other provisions, bans discrimination against women in terms of coverage and cost)
  • Family Planning (Title X) (cut entirely)
  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grants (cut entirely)
  • Community Health Centers ($1 billion – 46% of regular appropriation cut)
  • Maternal and Child Health Block Grants ($210 million cut)
  • Substance Abuse Treatment (more than $200 million cut)

Cuts to Vital Food Programs:

  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, & Children (WIC) ($747 million)
  • Commodity Supplemental Food Program ($26 million – 11.4% cut)
  • FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter Program ($100 million – 50% cut)

Cuts that Threaten Women’s Economic Security and Workforce Preparedness:

  • Job training programs (1.4. billion cut), including:
    - Dislocated Worker National Reserve and Emergency Grants
    - Green Jobs Innovation Fund
    - Career Pathways Innovation Fund
    - Perkins Tech Prep State Grants
    - Senior Community Service Employment Program

Cuts to Education Programs

  • Even Start (cut entirely)
  • Striving Readers (cut entirely)
  • High School Graduation Initiative (cut entirely)
  • LEAP Program (for low-income college students; cut entirely)
  • Women’s Educational Equity Program (helps schools comply with Title IX, the law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs; cut entirely)
  • Title I (K-12 education for low-income students) ($693.5 million cut)
  • IDEA (special education) (nearly $560 million cut)
  • Head Start ($1 billion – 15% cut)

Cuts to Vital Housing Programs

  • Public Housing Capital Fund ($1.07 billion – 42% cut)
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Contingency Fund ($390 million – 66% cut)
  • Housing for the Elderly ($551 million – 67% cut)
  • Housing for Persons with Disabilities ($210 million – 70% cut)
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