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AFSCME Letter to the U.S. Senate Opposing H.R. 1

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the 1.6 million members of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), I am writing to urge that you oppose the House-passed Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1) which would irresponsibly slash federal spending, cutting more than $61 billion from the FY 2011 budget.  These cuts could result in the loss of more than 700,000 jobs and drastically cut economic growth for the remainder of the year. 

The worst recession since the Great Depression has resulted in this next fiscal year shaping up to be the states’ most difficult budget year on record with 44 states and the District of Columbia projecting budget shortfalls totaling $125 billion.  Budget cuts will restrict investments in critical state and local government programs that support jobs and services, including health care, education, transportation and social services that are critical to working families struggling to be self-sufficient.  One-third of non-security discretionary spending grants are in the form of aid to state and local governments.  Accordingly, the proposed cuts in H.R. 1 would have a devastating effect on the ability of state and local governments to deliver vital public services.

The prudent fiscal path forward must be driven by the goals of creating jobs and strengthening our nation’s economy rather than indiscriminately cutting services.  States have already slashed budgets and reduced services to address budget shortfalls and helpful Recovery Act assistance has all but run out.  Instead of balancing the budget on the backs of middle-class families and the most vulnerable Americans, we should cut wasteful spending and make sure that the wealthiest in our society are paying their fair share.

I urge you to oppose H.R. 1’s draconian cuts and to protect needed investments in public services critical to promoting economic recovery and job growth.

Sincerely,
Charles M. Loveless
Director of Legislation