AFSA Urges Congress and President Obama to End Sequestration

AFSA, Together with Diverse Groups Address Importance of Eliminating Sequestration, Fiscal Austerity 

Washington, DC –  In 2013, The Bipartisan Budget Act negotiated by Representative Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray provided partial, temporary relief from sequestration. With the return of full sequestration in 2016, NDD United, an alliance of organizations working together to protect nondefense discretionary funding, has renewed its efforts to bring an end to sequestration.

Today, NDD United joined more than 2,100 organizations from across all sectors of the economy and society to urge Congress and President Obama to work together to end sequestration. The letter emphasizes (1) the importance of nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs, (2) the harmful effects of budget cuts to date, and (3) the equal importance of both defense and nondefense programs in America’s security at home and abroad, and thus the need for equal sequestration relief.

Cuts to date have had significant impacts on the lives of Americans as demonstrated in NDD United’s 2013 report “Faces of Austerity: How Budget Cuts Make Us Sicker, Poorer, and Less Secure.”

“We’ve found that there are not only real consequences of budget cuts, such as job losses, longer wait lists, and curtailed services, but there are opportunity costs, as well,” said Emily Holubowich, Executive Director of the Coalition for Health Funding, Co-founder of NDD United. “There are a litany of new and core health activities, including those proposed in the budget, we should be doing to keep Americans safe and secure that we simply can’t afford to do in this era of austerity.”

“Simply put, these cuts are bad for the country and are not sustainable,” said Joel Packer, Executive Director of the Committee on Education Funding and NDD United Co-Chair.

Deficit reduction measures enacted since 2010 have come overwhelmingly from spending cuts, with the ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases far beyond those recommended by bipartisan groups of experts. And there is bipartisan agreement that sequestration is bad policy and ultimately hurts our nation. However, so far, Congress and the President have not been able to agree on other deficit reduction to replace the damaging cuts. As work begins on the 2016 budget, it is critical that Congress and the President find a replacement to sequestration to allow the government to keep making appropriate investments in Americans.

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Tell Congress to stop sequestration!