House Budget Threatens New Jersey Families

Advocates and constituents to re-deliver letters to New Jersey’s Congressional delegation opposing damaging cuts this week

House Republicans’ new budget proposal, released yesterday, would make it harder for millions of New Jersey families to make ends meet, with drastic cuts to health care and key assistance programs. Despite attempts to distance themselves from President Trump’s budget, House Republicans are advancing a budget that – like Trump’s – strips trillions of dollars from middle class and working families while providing tax giveaways to the very wealthy and profitable corporations. The budget also creates a special fast-track process that would allow Republicans to force through massive cuts in public investments and tax giveaways to the wealthy and profitable corporations without bipartisan support.

Tonight hundreds of constituents, joined by advocacy organizations from around the state, plan to rally outside the district offices of four New Jersey Congressmen (LoBiondo, MacArthur, Smith and Lance) to urge them to oppose these draconian budget cuts. Three of these four put the people of New Jersey before political party when they voted against the American Health Care Act; advocates are urging them to do the same when it comes to the federal budget.

This week advocates and constituents will also re-deliver a letter first delivered in late May urging these members of Congress – and all others – to oppose this budget and work toward a solution that protects the health and economic security of all New Jerseyans. The letter, signed by over 60 organizations, also requests Congressional meetings to discuss the budget. (Click here to view the letter; the new cover letter is pasted below this release.)

“The House Republican budget proposal, like President Trump’s budget plan, threatens economic opportunity for millions of New Jerseyans while paving the way for huge, unnecessary tax cuts for the wealthy,” said Jon Whiten, Vice President of New Jersey Policy Perspective. “It would also shift massive costs to New Jersey at a time when our nearly-broke state is already struggling to invest in education, transportation, and other services Garden State residents rely on.”

For New Jersey, the budget plan could result in devastating cuts to programs that expand economic opportunity for all residents, including job training, education, and economic development programs in cities and rural communities. But the proposal would fall hardest on Garden State residents struggling in today’s economy, with cuts to programs that provide income assistance to help families get back on their feet and help nearly 900,000 New Jerseyans afford groceries through SNAP. As Republicans continue their efforts to sabotage health care, the budget includes additional cuts to Medicaid, which helps about 1.8 million New Jerseyans – including 852,000 kids.

And underlying the whole budget proposal is a set of false assumptions about economic growth to hide that the proposed tax cuts would dramatically increase deficits and shift ballooning costs to states when revenues fall short of projections.

“New Jerseyans deserve a responsible federal budget proposal from our representatives – one that is based on real economic conditions and addresses the real challenges faced by struggling families,” said Ann Vardeman, Program Director at New Jersey Citizen Action. “Instead of fast-tracking cuts immoral budget cuts that will devastate New Jersey’s families and economy, members of Congress like Rodney Frelinghuysen and Tom MacArthur should focus on creating a bipartisan plan that makes investments in our people and programs that match our priorities.”

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NEW COVER LETTER:

July 19, 2017

Dear [Member of Congress],

In late May, we – as representatives of more than 50 leading New Jersey community, policy and advocacy groups – sent you a letter expressing our concern over the deep budget cuts outlined in President Trump’s budget proposal.

Today, as the House of Representatives begins moving its own budget proposal forward, we are re-sending you this letter to reiterate our insistence that you reject a budget that fails to protect and assist low-income and vulnerable populations in your district and across New Jersey.

The House budget and the Trump budget are clearly not the same, but they are remarkably similar. Both rely on budget gimmicks; include draconian cuts to a wide range of public services and investments; give large new tax cuts and breaks to the country’s wealthiest individuals and businesses; and lack critical details about policy.

While the details remain unclear in some instances, we know the House plan:

* Cuts $4.4 trillion over 10 years from entitlement programs that provide health care, food assistance and other crucial supports to low- and moderate-income New Jerseyans
* Cuts $1.3 trillion over 10 years from non-defense discretionary programs, which include job training, scientific and medical research, environmental protection and efforts to protect public health

We ask that you put the people of New Jersey – and your district – first and reject these harmful budget proposals. Thank you for your consideration, and please let us know if you would like to discuss this issue further by contacting Ann Vardeman, Program Director at New Jersey Citizen Action at ann@njcitizenaction.org or 732-246-4772 or Jon Whiten, Vice President of New Jersey Policy Perspective at whiten@njpp.org or 609-393-1145.

Sincerely,

New Jersey Citizen Action
New Jersey Policy Perspective